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Author Topic: Law school with a physics degree  (Read 2073 times)

Lookin4Answers

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Law school with a physics degree
« on: July 06, 2012, 11:18:29 AM »
hello all, I am 7 years out of undergrad and graduated with a BA in physics and BA in mathematics (dual degree).  I had a GPA of 3.07 and for the past 7 years have been working in investment banking.  Now I am considering shelfing everything and going back to school to pursue a law degree.  Am I completely out of my mind?  Will I qualify for any of the top tier schools with my lower gpa?  Do schools take into consideration the difficulty of my 2 undergrad degrees?  I have been taking practice LSATs and have been consistently scoring 170+.  What kind of schools can I get into?

FalconJimmy

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Re: Law school with a physics degree
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2012, 12:30:14 PM »
  Am I completely out of my mind?

In my opinion, no.

 Will I qualify for any of the top tier schools with my lower gpa? 

In my opinion, no.

Do schools take into consideration the difficulty of my 2 undergrad degrees?

In my opinion, no.  Or at least not as much as they should.

I have been taking practice LSATs and have been consistently scoring 170+.  What kind of schools can I get into?

I'd look at something in the lower end of the first tier.  Maybe as high as 25th or so.  Best of luck.  Hate to say it, but seems like you have a gigantic brain, but law school is populated generally by unemployable refugees of a liberal arts degree program.  they're not about to admit that the stuff they study is ridiculously easy relative to the stuff that, for instance, you took.

Lookin4Answers

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Re: Law school with a physics degree
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2012, 01:18:30 PM »
Thanks for the honest reply.  Odd how with a 3.0 you can qualify for some of the top physics programs, but can't go any top tier law school. 

I suppose I can't do anything to make myself a better candidate?

FalconJimmy

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Re: Law school with a physics degree
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2012, 01:29:41 PM »
Thanks for the honest reply.  Odd how with a 3.0 you can qualify for some of the top physics programs, but can't go any top tier law school. 

I suppose I can't do anything to make myself a better candidate?

Not really.  It's not fair, but it's the way it is.  Also, not sure what type of law you want to practice, but with your background maybe something in securities law?

Also, IP law is relatively unscathed by the current economic climate.  You will probably qualify to sit for the patent bar given your background.

haus

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Re: Law school with a physics degree
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2012, 02:37:53 PM »
I agree that the situation is not fair. But occasionally exceptions are made at top programs, you may want to look at the law school numbers page (http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com). Keep in mind that all the info on that page is self reported.

But if you are interested in IP law, or some other element that would build upon your existing experience, you may well be in decent shape even if you go down a few positions in ranking. I know that George Washington prides itself on IP (it happens to sit near the Patent Office).

Happy hunting,

Lookin4Answers

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Re: Law school with a physics degree
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2012, 03:05:22 PM »
Yes, I am aware that I am a candidate for IP law.  Many of my friends who were engineers did this, but unfortunately I was looking into international law. 

Do you think that perhaps a masters degree in Public Policy with a high GPA would make me a better candidate?


Maintain FL 350

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Re: Law school with a physics degree
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2012, 05:17:29 PM »
Yes, I am aware that I am a candidate for IP law.  Many of my friends who were engineers did this, but unfortunately I was looking into international law. 

Do you think that perhaps a masters degree in Public Policy with a high GPA would make me a better candidate?



As far as I can tell, M.A.s don't really help too much. They're a soft factor, at best. I'm basing this on nothing more than anecdotal evidence, but that's what I've been told by friends who applied to law school after earning master's, MBAs, etc. LSAC calculates your GPA based on undergrad only, and might give you a slight boost because of your math/science background.

I think that with a 3.07 and a 170+ LSAT you can still get into some top schools, depending on your definition of "top". Yale, Harvard, and any of the other truly elite schools are probably out of the question, but plenty of T1 schools would be well within your reach. I don't know what part of the country you're in, but you'd have a decent shot at places like Davis, Hastings, George Washington, maybe Notre Dame. The key is going to be your LSAT score. Do everything you can to max it out.

jack24

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Re: Law school with a physics degree
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2012, 12:05:16 PM »
Remember that even though law schools don't give you much credit for your degree type (Their rankings are affected by GPA and LSAT scores of their entering class), employers might.   Your degrees might be more appealing to IP firms, but I would call some firms you are interested in and ask them what schools they typically hire from. 
My current bosses are legal geeks and they wouldn't be impressed at all by a physics math joint degree, but I can think of a few hiring partners I've met who would be.  Very much so.