Law School Discussion

Law School/Grades

Law School/Grades
« on: March 24, 2011, 08:46:18 PM »
 Hi I am a sophmore studying Electrical and Computer Engineering and a MIS minor. I have had a particularly hard year in school this year from decideding what major to do and the that Law is what I would like to do but unfortunatley. I have had a tough year acadmically and my GPA has fallen down to a 2.8. I know for law school it is imperative you have good grades. I would like to go to law school upon graduation. Is that still achievable.

Re: Law School/Grades
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2011, 01:44:40 AM »
Bad GPA due to tough undergrad major?

Been there, done that.  Blogged about it.

As for getting into law schoole?  Sure.  Are you going to change major?

If so, you can probably bring your GPA into the 3.0+ range.  Who knows maybe somewhere in the 3.3 range. 

There are law schools that will accept you with a GPA like that.  You're going to have trouble getting into a top law school, but 2T schools aren't totally out of the question.

Even if you are accepted to a 4T, if you go wild applying, you may be able to transfer into a top 25 school after 1L.  (Folks will advise you to not pin your hopes on transferring, though.  That's good advice, but it does happen.  I think it's not all that tough to transfer into a 2T school if you have good enough grades.  1T is possible, but obviously, competition is fierce.)

Best of luck.

Re: Law School/Grades
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2011, 02:12:08 PM »
Your chances for admission will depend on your LSAT and GPA.  Your GPA is fairly low and you are not in contention for T14.  Most schools put at least 60% weight on LSAT, so that will work in your favor if you prepare well enough.  The good news is that Engineering majors typically score higher on the LSAT than many other majors.   

So, if you really want to go to law school, your plan should be to 1.) Raise your GPA; and 2) get your LSAT in the mid to high 160's. 

As to your major, law schools will look at that if you get passed the auto-reject pile.  I would try to keep the major because it's marketable (and allows you to practice IP law if you want).  Try to take easier classes wihin your major and get your grades up.  The lower your GPA, the higher your LSAT must be to compensate. 

You can still go to law school if that's what you want to do. 

Re: Law School/Grades
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2011, 06:40:15 PM »
While I applaud you for coming here to ask this question, I will also suggest that you may be asking the wrong question.

As noted by earlier posters, it is reasonably likely that you can get into a law school.  The more important question, perhaps, is which law school you will get into, and whether that law school will put you on the path towards your goals for life after law school.

Law school is a time-consuming and expensive endeavor, and should (IMO) not be undertaken lightly.  The unemployment lines are full of jobless JDs who went to "a" law school - but more importantly, the ranks of working lawyers are full of JDs who hate their jobs but don't have much choice, and no real prospects of ever getting the job they really wanted, because they went to the wrong law school.

I am saying this not to be pessimistic or discouraging - to the contrary, I encourage you to chase your dreams.  I just encourage you to do so with deliberation, because the price of failure and broken dreams only goes up with age.  So before you ask whether you can get into law school, I suggest you ask yourself what you want to do after you graduate from law school.  Once you have that figured out, determine what kind of law school you have to go to in order to achieve your post-law school goals.  Then, and only then, will you be in a position to ask the better question:  will you be able to get into that kind of law school?

This evaluation process, BTW, is the subject of the first part of Thane Messinger's excellent book Law School: Getting In, Getting Good, Getting the Gold.  I highly recommend this to anyone considering law school.

Re: Law School/Grades
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2011, 09:16:06 PM »
Pump up that GPA. Take everything you can before you graduate (community college credits are just as valuable as regular credits). Get As.

Then kill the LSAT. You'll be fine.

Re: Law School/Grades
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2011, 07:33:46 AM »
I'd also like to add that if you're an engineering major, schools tend to recognize that as a harder major with lower average GPAs than some humanities majors.  It won't weigh so heavily in your favor that it will get you into a T14 school, but I think if you have a low GPA with an engineering degree combined with a high LSAT, you have good odds at many schools.  Also, if you're considering intellectual property, you certainly have a great background to work in patents, so if that's something you might be interested in, I strongly discourage you from changing your major.  Of course, if anyone on this forum is an engineering major in law school, they can probably provide better insight than I can.