Law School Discussion

PhD and law school

PhD and law school
« on: June 09, 2016, 07:40:45 PM »
Hi everyone. I'm currently in a PhD program, very close to being ABD. I picked up two master's degrees along the way, but I'm now starting to wonder if I really want to finish this PhD. I just really, really want to go to law school and work in law. I still like the fields I'm getting my PhD in, but I'm not sure I want to go through the process of researching, writing, and defending a dissertation just so I can stick a "Dr." in front of my name.

My question is: will it look bad to law schools I apply to if I drop out of a PhD program? Should I just stick it out two or three more years, get my PhD, and then apply? Or would I come across as some sort of perpetual student? I just turned 32 and I would be probably 35 when I apply to law schools at this rate.

Re: PhD and law school
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2016, 10:18:00 AM »
There are a lot of issues to address here, I'll try to be brief.

1) Dropping out a PhD program will probably not make much (if any) difference in applying to law school.

2) It's probably a bad idea anyway.

I assume that you went into a PhD program in order to go into academia. I can't imagine spending that much time and money in school just for $hits and giggles. I further assume that the academic lifestyle is appealing to you, since you clearly like being in school.

Take some time to find out what the practice of law is like, because it is nothing like academia.

No offense, but you do in fact sound like a "perpetual student". Someone who always thinks the grass is greener. The problem is that if you do go to law school you will likely end up having to practice law in order to pay off the debt. Trust me, after five minutes at a law firm that old dream of getting a PhD will start to look pretty damn good.

Of course, much of this also depends on what your PhD is in, and where it's from. In other words, a PhD in Engineering from MIT is a better bet than a PhD in Art History from Unknown State U. As you no doubt are aware, academic hiring is abysmal right now, thus a law degree could be a safer bet.

But if I were close to completing a PhD in a field which might actually get me a job, I'd finish.

Re: PhD and law school
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2016, 06:55:12 AM »
What makes you so sure you are qualified to get into law school? Well, let me lay out a couple of facts: first off, you will need a GPA of at least 3.3+ from an academically sound school and a score on the LSAT of 160+ to get into a decent law school. 3.7 plus 170+ to have a shot at one of the prestige schools.

Re: PhD and law school
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2016, 06:56:25 AM »
Now the fun begins, in law school there is a weeding out process just like in med school, the bottom 1/3 will not be there at the end of the year. Grades are curved downward and in reality, there isn't much difference between an A and a C. That's how competitive it is! Your workweek is roughly 60-70 hours, all assignments are handed in on time, class participation is a given and quizzes happen at the drop of a hat. If you get through it, you still need to take the bar exam and become licensed.

Re: PhD and law school
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2016, 02:54:33 PM »
ANY fool can get into law school (its not hard to get in at all)

So if you have the brains to get a PhD you are fine. But I'd finish it still. That way you can put "Dr" on your title (it helps)