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Author Topic: MY MOM HAS RUINED MY LIFE...J/K. HELP PLEASE  (Read 3480 times)

Cocoaismyrealname

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MY MOM HAS RUINED MY LIFE...J/K. HELP PLEASE
« on: July 16, 2009, 02:46:24 AM »
Before I get to my question heres a few facts.
Graduated highschool in 2001
Enlisted in AirFore 2003
Seperated from AirForce March 2009
Fall Semester begins Aug 2009
I'm a sophomore in college
Ive tentatively decided to major in criminal justice
Full time job in medical field as a Sleep Lab Technologists
Goals- Lawyer of some sort (undecided), hence the reason Im here.

  I called my mom after i finished registering for my courses this upcoming semseter only because the Steve Harvey Morning show had just cut for a commercial break, and I still had about 3mL of excitement running through my veins. Only to hear this, "Why did you change your major, You know Thelma majored in Criminal Justice and now shes a probation officer and i know you dont wanna be no dag on probation officer, dont you think you should major in something else just in case the lawyer thing dont work out like you planned... let me call you back the movers just got here...and Cocoa, answer the phone."

  So while im driving home I begin thinking that maybe my mom has a point. Originally i was going to major in Poli Sci but quickly changed it when i realized it was an Ambien waiting to happen. So now im stuck. I chose criminal justice becasue it seemed more interesting, something i wouldnt mind attending after long nights at work. Now i dont know what to do. The only other thing I'm intersted in as far as majors go is English (but it'll take me longer to finish undergrad). Im stuck in a rut. It seems as though any major that is not a specialty  (I.E. nursing) is kind of setting you up for the "if all else fails I'll just be a teacher". So my questions are:
1. What is a good major that'll prep you for law school but give you great avenues outside of law school?
2. What did you all major in?? Do you regret it? If so what would you have majored in?

I just want some insight, i know at the end of the day I should do something I enjoy, but after reading a few of these posts my cofidence kind of dropped.

 ???Help!!



A.

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Re: MY MOM HAS RUINED MY LIFE...J/K. HELP PLEASE
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2009, 06:36:14 AM »
Personally, I'd drop criminal justice...I agree with your mom in that I see more people with that major become probation officers than lawyers.  That said, you should major in whatever interests you.  If CJ is the only thing that interests you, then keep the major.  The most important thing for law school is having good grades.  And if you enjoy your classes, then your grades will likely be better.  I majored in political science, but was only a few classes away from majors in economics, sociology, and business.  Take whatever makes you happy. 

That said, after working with our intern who wants to go to law school, I do now recommend that prospective law students take courses that help their writing.  Lawyers write...a lot...and if you're not able to communicate effectively (with proper grammar, good flow, etc.) or if you're daunted by a 50-page paper, then you're not going to make it as far as you could (although after a year of reading lawyers' briefs, I won't say you can't make it at all...).

TruOne

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Re: MY MOM HAS RUINED MY LIFE...J/K. HELP PLEASE
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2009, 01:15:36 AM »
Political Science is worthless without Graduate School.

You are forced to either get an MPA or a JD because Poli Sci by itself teaches you nothing, except the theory of Government systems.

Criminal Justice doesn't prepare you for Contracts, Property, or Civil Procedure in any fashion.

Stick with a Business-related major. If Law School doesn't pan out for you, you can use that knowledge and degree to get a job in a variety of other fields without being pigeon-holed into one field.
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chukoo321

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Re: MY MOM HAS RUINED MY LIFE...J/K. HELP PLEASE
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2009, 10:53:25 AM »
Here are my stats
Graduated college in 2007 Cj major with honors minor in psychology

Currently working at non profit organization that helps inmates re-enter into society.

Attending law school in august

At this point in your life if you know that law school is what you want then this shouldnt be a difficult decison. You need to figure out what is important to you. is it prestige? your parents being happy with your career decision? making alot of money? or truly being happy with a career choice that is all your own?

Its true that your undergradtuate degree doesnt matter. All that matters is that you get good grades at w/e you do.Between your soft factors (i.e. the military, working while going to school,sleep lab tech, non traditional student)and an awesome gpa in w/e you do Getting into law school will be a breeze for you.

Now,Criminal justice is interestingly broad. i have friends who work as probation officers, DCF case managers, correctional officers, rehabilitation counselors, Court clerks, substance abuse counselors, police officers and case management (pretty much any type of public service you can think of) and some of them plan on going to law school as well.

maybe it will help if you can decide what type of law you want to get into then do undergrad based on that. since it seems ur kind of ugh about being a probaton officer then you probably wont do criminal law.


other majors to consider:
psychology- truly broad major, interesting and fairly easy also good if you want to get masters and not go to law school  (not so great job prospects come graduation)
Communications will help with speech writing and presentation skills (important in law school so im told)
public administration- not offered at all schools but im told throughly prepares you for government work.
health services administration or health information systems- good high demand majors in the medical field and great job prospects in the event that law school isnt what you want to do.

somewhat long winded but i hope this helps!!!

NaturalLemonFlavour

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Re: MY MOM HAS RUINED MY LIFE...J/K. HELP PLEASE
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2009, 04:41:13 PM »
I guess there are two relevant points to make here:

1. Picking a major that you find genuinely interesting is very important. You're right, it will be easier to drag yourself to classes and write papers etc. if you find the work interesting and you are passionate about it.

2. That said, you should also pick a major that prepares you well for law school. This does not necessarily mean picking a major with the word 'law' in it, but rather one that trains you on thinking outside of the box, processing complex fact patterns, and so on.

No one except for you can decide whether a criminal justice major fulfills either of these two conditions. Personally, I opted to do a double major - one in English, and the other in International Relations. I enjoy English immensely, and international relations is a challenging degree. Is it possible for you to do a double major?

Also, as an aside, keep in mind that many, many majors do not prepare you for law school. A lot of what you do in undergraduate will, unfortunately, be useless.

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: MY MOM HAS RUINED MY LIFE...J/K. HELP PLEASE
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2009, 06:24:13 PM »
First of all, welcome to the board.  Funny story btw.

1. There really isn't any major that adequately prepares you for law school.
2. I majored in Architectural Engineering.  Wouldn't recommend it for anybody who is trying to go to law school.  (the avg GPA of everybody in the major my year was 2.4)

That being said, pick whatever major you like that will get you the highest GPA.  Period. 

I've had two different careers and the one conclusion that I can draw from both when it comes to a bachelor's degree is that a bachelor's degree is today's high school diploma.   In other words, it really doesn't matter what your major is.  I've literally met people who were English majors in college who end up becoming corporate vice presidents of Shell Oil or Microsoft.  I even met an patent lawyer once who majored in Art History.  No lie.  A bachelor's degree in any major simply means "I can be trained."  Nearly every major requires grad school of some kind in order to really advance your career prospects.

So I slightly dissent from A with re to changing your major only b/c I feel that its largely irrelevant at the end of the day.  Stated differently, the majority of people who major in Crim Justice end up becoming probation officers not b/c the major itself directs them to but b/c the majority of people who major in Crim Justice had no aspirations of becoming a lawyer in the first place.  If becoming a lawyer is your goal then you will become a lawyer no matter what your major is.

And if you don't end up becoming a lawyer then, as aforementioned, you have to go to grad school of some kind anyway.
"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

A.

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Re: MY MOM HAS RUINED MY LIFE...J/K. HELP PLEASE
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2009, 09:20:10 PM »
So I slightly dissent from A with re to changing your major only b/c I feel that its largely irrelevant at the end of the day.

I agree with that.  I just said that I personally wouldn't select the major.  Stigma and such.  Same reason I'd never major in "pre-law."  But, again, the OP should do whatever makes him/her happiest and will get him/her the best grades.

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: MY MOM HAS RUINED MY LIFE...J/K. HELP PLEASE
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2009, 12:35:31 PM »
So I slightly dissent from A with re to changing your major only b/c I feel that its largely irrelevant at the end of the day.

I agree with that.  I just said that I personally wouldn't select the major.  Stigma and such.  Same reason I'd never major in "pre-law."  But, again, the OP should do whatever makes him/her happiest and will get him/her the best grades.

Does it have a bad stigma?  I hadn't heard that before. 

"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

schuywalker

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Re: MY MOM HAS RUINED MY LIFE...J/K. HELP PLEASE
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2009, 03:11:38 PM »

I would suggest that the OP purchase the following 2 books:

Anna Ivey - The Ivey guide to law school admissions
Richard Montauk- How to get in a top law school

The Montauk book the book is approximately 500 pages and gives a very comprehensive overview of the college process and discusses applications, essays, LSATs, majors, etc

Chapter 8 of his book discusses Making the Most of Your Credentials, Montauk states:


Quote
Your specific major matters less than the type of major you choose. What matters is that you choose a serious major. Schools are leery of pre-professional subjects such as business, and those that reward performance talents such as acting. There are some majors that admissions counselors cringe at seeing; communications, criminology and pre-law (even though theoretically pre-law is not a major)

Any subject that requires serious analytical work and dedication attract at least a reasonable % of the best and brightest will meet with approval.

The ideal undergraduate record would thus include all of the following:

Top quality school

Demanding course load (no path of least resistance) advanced work in a second unrelated (to your major) filed is particularly helpful

Top grades throughout (with few courses taken pass/fail) but especially in junior & senior years

Courses requiring substantial reading, strong writing ability good research skills and analytical prowess

Courses developing useful substantial knowledge for your future legal field.

When posed with the question: What factors do you consider when evaluating an undergraduate record admissions officers at various law schools state :

What ever the major, there should be variety including some clearly demanding analytical courses. There is not set preparation for law school, but some majors may be of less value than others (for ex. Pre-law) I examine the undergraduate transcript very closely. I look at what the applicant has done both in and outside of their major- Faye Deal, Stanford

What we are looking for is both breadth and depth. We favor applicants who come to us from broad liberal arts education. They learn about human vision from the arts, how the world works from math and the sciences and the human condition from philosophy and history. We don’t want academic dilettantes however; we want applicants to have taken the most analytically rigorous courses in their field- Jim Mulligan, Columbia

Not all UGPAs are created =. Swat and William and Mary, for instance have refrained from inflating grades; their averages are between 2.8 & 2.9. At the other end of the spectrum, Stanford and Yeshiva have mean GPAs over 3.4- Mulligan, Columbia

The GPA number is just a starting point. Our first concern is how rigorous the course load has been. We look at academic letters of recommendation, which are particularly helpful if they address the difficulty of the course load ex: the grading policies of professors from whom the applicant took multiple courses. Other factors we c examine is whether there were substantial barriers to performance such as the need to work many hours per week- USC

I know what the strongest and weakest programs are at some 50 to 60 schools. At some smaller commonly seen schools (and programs) it can be helpful for the student to provide detailed information. –GWU

We see a # of pre-med students who did poorly as pre-meds but then did well in their next field. The key for them is to make sure they get out of pre-med early so they can fully demonstrate their talents.- UCLA

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: MY MOM HAS RUINED MY LIFE...J/K. HELP PLEASE
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2009, 10:22:00 AM »
A rehash on our Criminal Justice discussion from ATL:

Don't Major in Criminal Justice If You Want to Go to Law School

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 3:24 PM - By Elie Mystal

We have some interesting statistics that suggest legal sounding majors -- like Prelaw or Criminal Justice -- have a negative relationship with LSAT performance.

Courtesy of Tax Prof Blog, Professor Michael Nieswiadomy of North Texas, has given us average LSAT scores broken down by 29 differed undergraduate majors.

The bottom of the list is very interesting:

    25. Education: LSAT = 149.4
    26. Business Administration: LSAT = 149.1
    27. Health Professions: LSAT = 148.4
    28. Prelaw: LSAT = 148.3
    29. Criminal Justice: LSAT = 146

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. But is there something going on in criminal justice classes that makes people unable to complete a logic game?

After the jump, let's look at what you should major in if you want to do well on the LSAT.

The bottom of the list was interesting, but the top of the list is pretty much expected. People with difficult majors tend to do well on the LSAT:

    1. Physics/Math: LSAT = 160
    2. Economics: LSAT = 157.4
    2. Philosophy/Theology: LSAT = 157.4
    4. International Relations: LSAT = 156.5
    5. Engineering: LSAT = 156.2


-----------------

Looks like Alci was right on point with dropping the Criminal Justice major advice.  I must concur in the judgment.
"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston