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Author Topic: Engineering UG  (Read 662 times)

ldo5014

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Engineering UG
« on: January 22, 2011, 08:51:14 PM »
Hey.  I'm an Energy Engineering UG (effectively ChemE, but focused on energy systems) who is contemplating law school.  I plan on taking the LSAT in the fall, but wanted to know if I was wasting my time before I began a few months of intense studying.

These are my "stats:"
-Penn State
-Schreyer Honors College (Penn State's HC)
-3.85 GPA (I am wondering if law schools will understand why it isn't closer to a 4.00 because I'm doing engineering.  Hoping to find that out here!)
-Research Experience
-Written Thesis
-Internship Experience

I am contemplating Energy Policy, Environmental Policy, Patent Law, IP Law, etc.  Does anyone have any insight on whether or not I'm somewhat qualified and what LSAT score I should be looking for to get into a top law school?  I'd like to stay in New York, or maybe go to Boston.

Thank you all for your time!

bigs5068

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Re: Engineering UG
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2011, 11:05:13 PM »
I might be mistaken, but if you want to do patent law you may be able to skip law school altogether. There is the patent bar, which with your major you may qualify for. This would allow you to save 3 years and 100K if your degree qualifies you.

Thane Messinger

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Re: Engineering UG
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2011, 02:13:15 AM »
Hey.  I'm an Energy Engineering UG (effectively ChemE, but focused on energy systems) who is contemplating law school.  I plan on taking the LSAT in the fall, but wanted to know if I was wasting my time before I began a few months of intense studying.

* * *

I am contemplating Energy Policy, Environmental Policy, Patent Law, IP Law, etc.  Does anyone have any insight on whether or not I'm somewhat qualified and what LSAT score I should be looking for to get into a top law school?  I'd like to stay in New York, or maybe go to Boston.


Ido -

You are indeed within the realm, assuming your pull a good LSAT, which with your background and sufficient prep is likely.

The more important question might be to look at this from the opposite perspective, as your LSAT and GPA and other factors might get you in, but the more important question is whether you'll look back and want to have been in.

This is not an easy question for anyone. Perhaps for you the question is to ask what you like about engineering.  Is it to get in the guts of the project, technologies, etc., or is it to think about how that technology relates to others, and how businesses might take advantage of that.  The more you like the actual aspects of engineering, the more you should consider where a JD will take you . . . which is, generally, away from the actual guts of technology and toward the connections of that technology to business and other interests.  IP law does draw on technology, of course, but the world of the IP attorney is a different world that that of the engineer.
 
For all, there are many flavors of law practice, even within IP.  If you might be interested in the area, call a local practitioner (or meet one in a local meeting), and ask to chat.  They'll give you a good idea of the possibilities, and realities.  (Your interest is a good one, and a friend in that area enjoys his work tremendously.)

Thane.

BikePilot

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Re: Engineering UG
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2011, 07:27:37 PM »
The GPA is a little low by HYS standards (assuming you aren't a urm), but you've still got a solid shot.  Combine that with a mid 170's LSAT and you've got a decent shot anywhere in the country. 

I have a friend from HLS with similar stats who did well in LS and well again in the job market after graduating. HLS has some good environmental/ip/tech-related stuff going on and is longish walk/short bikeride/short T-ride from MIT and has an arrangement with MIT so law students can also take classes there as they like.  I'm told that HLS supplemented with MIT classes is about the best you can do for technology/patent/ip stuff.  I and my sources are probably biased :P
HLS 2010

Hamilton

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Re: Engineering UG
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2011, 11:09:45 PM »
I would have to ask myself 'WHY am I thinking about law school?'  Is it apprehension of graduating and having to step out into the real world (I'm not being provacative - school is all we knew until graduation)?  Is it something to do b/c it seems like the thing to do?  Is there a burning passion to be a lawyer?  If its one of the first 2, I'd do some real soul searching and homework to find out if law school is truly the thing to do.  If its the latter, you clearly have the schmartz and should be able to do very well on the LSAT and get into a good school.  Regardless, do your homework and due dilligence on the cost of law school, deceptive employment stats, and troublesome job market for lawyers (very few get those 6 figure starting salaries).

ldo5014

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Re: Engineering UG
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2011, 03:51:08 PM »
I might be mistaken, but if you want to do patent law you may be able to skip law school altogether. There is the patent bar, which with your major you may qualify for. This would allow you to save 3 years and 100K if your degree qualifies you.

Well, I'm not set on Patent Law.  Out of all my interests, Energy Policy interests me the most.  Aside from that, I was under the impression that you are required to attend an accredited Law School and pass the Bar to become a Patent Attorney.  If that's not the case, I need to look into it haha.

ldo5014

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Re: Engineering UG
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2011, 03:58:23 PM »
Hey.  I'm an Energy Engineering UG (effectively ChemE, but focused on energy systems) who is contemplating law school.  I plan on taking the LSAT in the fall, but wanted to know if I was wasting my time before I began a few months of intense studying.

* * *

I am contemplating Energy Policy, Environmental Policy, Patent Law, IP Law, etc.  Does anyone have any insight on whether or not I'm somewhat qualified and what LSAT score I should be looking for to get into a top law school?  I'd like to stay in New York, or maybe go to Boston.


Ido -

You are indeed within the realm, assuming your pull a good LSAT, which with your background and sufficient prep is likely.

The more important question might be to look at this from the opposite perspective, as your LSAT and GPA and other factors might get you in, but the more important question is whether you'll look back and want to have been in.

This is not an easy question for anyone. Perhaps for you the question is to ask what you like about engineering.  Is it to get in the guts of the project, technologies, etc., or is it to think about how that technology relates to others, and how businesses might take advantage of that.  The more you like the actual aspects of engineering, the more you should consider where a JD will take you . . . which is, generally, away from the actual guts of technology and toward the connections of that technology to business and other interests.  IP law does draw on technology, of course, but the world of the IP attorney is a different world that that of the engineer.
 
For all, there are many flavors of law practice, even within IP.  If you might be interested in the area, call a local practitioner (or meet one in a local meeting), and ask to chat.  They'll give you a good idea of the possibilities, and realities.  (Your interest is a good one, and a friend in that area enjoys his work tremendously.)

Thane.

To be honest, I'm considering Law School because the guts of the project doesn't really interest me.  I love the technology and I understand it, but I find no joy in crunching numbers and designing it.  I love learning about it and thinking about how it applies and fits into our current energy system, but I couldn't spend my years playing around with technologies that will never go anywhere.  There has been enough advancement in technology that I feel a tangible difference can be made if legislation is set in place to let it happen.  Even if I find that lobbying and policy isn't for me, IP law would definitely interest me because I understand and enjoy learning about new technologies.

Either way, I know I don't want to be an engineer haha.


ldo5014

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Re: Engineering UG
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2011, 04:02:56 PM »
The GPA is a little low by HYS standards (assuming you aren't a urm), but you've still got a solid shot.  Combine that with a mid 170's LSAT and you've got a decent shot anywhere in the country. 

I have a friend from HLS with similar stats who did well in LS and well again in the job market after graduating. HLS has some good environmental/ip/tech-related stuff going on and is longish walk/short bikeride/short T-ride from MIT and has an arrangement with MIT so law students can also take classes there as they like.  I'm told that HLS supplemented with MIT classes is about the best you can do for technology/patent/ip stuff.  I and my sources are probably biased :P

Yeah, I knew that engineering UG would come back to bite me.  I'm certain my GPA could have been higher had I not tortured myself, but I still enjoyed the material so hopefully the admissions council gives me some credit for pursuing a major with a notoriously low GPA (engineering in general).  The MIT partnership with Harvard seems very interesting, I'm wondering if using my ED on HLS would be a good idea.  Objectively, do you think it is worth it for potential law student with a technical background to base part of his decision on the MIT partnership?  I guess a better way to phrase it is, is the partnership more for show than anything else?  Or will a student really gain a unique education because of it?

WHATWHAT1

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Re: Engineering UG
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2011, 03:12:00 PM »
Engineering should not bite you in the ass.  I graduated with a degree in engineering from U.Mich with a 3.55 gpa, got a decent LSAT score and got into CCN (and no I was not a URM) and ended up getting a job at a top law firm.  Law schools definitely respect that a 3.5+ GPAs in engineering are far more difficult to achieve than similar GPAs in history or poly sci or the other typical pre-law majors.

Secondly, this:
I might be mistaken, but if you want to do patent law you may be able to skip law school altogether. There is the patent bar, which with your major you may qualify for. This would allow you to save 3 years and 100K if your degree qualifies you.

Is incredibly stupid advice.  You cannot practice patent law without being a member of the bar of at least one state and most states will require you to attend an ABA accredited law school in order to even sit for the bar.  There are states that do not require you to attend an ABA accredited law school (California for example), and so yes, technically you could bypass law school and backdoor your way into patent law, but this is still a horrible idea as no respectable legal employer is going to hire someone who didn't go to law school at all (what good is the ability to practice if no one will hire you).  You'd aso be restricted in your practice to only patent prosecution (quite possibly the most boring thing you can do as a lawyer).