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becjohnso

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school classes for law school
« on: June 03, 2003, 04:38:23 AM »
what classes do I need to take in high school, to help me get into law school 8)

lp4law

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Re: school classes for law school
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2003, 06:24:56 AM »
Just about everything you normally take in high school can help prepare a strong application for law school.  That's because just about everything you take in high school requires some sort of reading, analysis or writing.  For your application to law school, you'll need the following:

1.  An undergrad degree (BS, BA).  You can major in just about anything, but keep in mind what you want to eventually do as a lawyer.  If you want to be in patent law, you might want to major in engineering, physics, etc.  If you want to be a general trial attorney (litigator), speech, debate, or communications might be nice.  Given that a good portion of law is created or argued based upon public policy considerations, a background in political science and public policy might be a great way to go.  Regardless of what undergrad major you eventually choose, do well with your high school grades so you can get into an undergrad school that specializes in that subject.

2.  A good undergrad GPA.  Whatever major you choose in undergrad, do well at it.  Your selection chances for law school are weighted heavily on both your UGPA and LSAT scores.

3.  A good LSAT score.  You'll take the LSAT just prior to applying to law school.  It tests your logic, analysis, and reading skills.  Right now, learn to read and analyze everything with close scrutiny.  In fact, the more boring the subject is, the better.  You get this opportunity every day in high school.  The LSAT has a reading comprehension section that contains four passages; and the topics can be fairly mundane.  Also, you want to develop good reasoning skills. Any classes involving math, philosophy or debate is helpful.

If I could start high school over again, I'd probably elect to take more speech, debate and philosophy classes.  Also, make sure you maintain your social development throughout high school.  You'll see some people who study so much, they don't find the time to have some fun and make friends.  These people usually get into good colleges, but will end up working for people with more substantial social skills.  Learn how to interact socially with people from all backgrounds.  By understanding what motivates different people, you'll be a far more effective lawyer.

Good luck.
"What we do in life...echoes in eternity." -- Gladiator

alb

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Re: school classes for law school
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2005, 11:55:50 AM »
The thing in high school that prepared me best for law school was being on the policy debate team.  All this talk we hear during orientation at law school that "we're not just teaching you the law, we're teaching you to 'think like a lawyer'" -- well, I honestly learned that in high school doing debate.  If your school doesn't have a policy debate team, get a group of students together and lobby to get one.  Also, if you are on the debate team, don't be lazy -- use it as an opportunity to develop your own critical thinking and analytical skills, rather than relying on what others have done and just regurgitating that at breakneck speed. Tell your coach what your goals are, and push her/him to help you work on those skills.

Debate takes a lot of time and effort to be done well, but it really pays off in the end.  It will make your regular classes in high school easier, it will make undergrad easier, and it will make law school MUCH easier.  Also, it will expose you to students who actually enjoy intellectual activity and who have diverse points of view. And you will get plenty of practice developing efficient reading comprehension skills -- something you will need on the LSAT and in law school.  Compared to your high school text books, debate evidence is not "dumbed down" to a particular reading level, so it can be quite challenging to plow through, and quite rewarding to expand your horizons.

Doing debate can also expose you to people who are already in law school or who are lawyers themselves (many coaches and judges fall in those categories).  They can give you good advice and can be a good network for you later on in life. 

Some high school students make the mistake of spreading themselves too thin with school activities etc.  Colleges are much more impressed with depth of involvement and true commitment to one or two things, and statistically speaking, debate gives you an advantage over many other activities (there was a Wall Street Journal article a few years back that looked at the numbers). 

As for classes, take classes that are challenging and classes that you are interested in.  You really don't need any particular undergraduate background to be successful in law school.  Learn a second language, and learn it well -- that can help keep the logic portion of your brain firing away, and helps to build your memorization skills as well.

dr_draino

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Re: school classes for law school
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2005, 12:02:13 PM »
The thing that prepared me best for law school in high school were all the days I skipped class.  Between high school and college I'll never have a time in my life when I think "man, I really missed out on just having fun"...

NYKnicks

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Re: school classes for law school
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2005, 12:28:57 PM »
what classes do I need to take in high school, to help me get into law school 8)

stop overachieving, what if you end up not going to law school?

just take whatever you want and try to challenge yourself. maybe participate in some model UN to get some debate experience. keep your reading skills up too, but I doubt there are any specific classes you can take.

oh yeah, skip some classes and don't do all of your homework either, it'll keep you sane.

strouse

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Re: school classes for law school
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2005, 08:30:13 PM »
get drunk a lot and learn how to take a bong hit without coughing

NYKnicks

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Re: school classes for law school
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2005, 08:31:06 PM »
get drunk a lot and learn how to take a bong hit without coughing

or learn to find decent jesus avatars like phanatic.

burghblast

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Re: school classes for law school
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2005, 08:33:51 PM »
The thing that prepared me best for law school in high school were all the days I skipped class.  Between high school and college I'll never have a time in my life when I think "man, I really missed out on just having fun"...

You took the words right out of my mouth.

strouse

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Re: school classes for law school
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2005, 08:38:22 PM »
get drunk a lot and learn how to take a bong hit without coughing

or learn to find decent jesus avatars like phanatic.

 :D, you talking about "Jesus the Liberal"?

NYKnicks

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Re: school classes for law school
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2005, 08:39:53 PM »
get drunk a lot and learn how to take a bong hit without coughing

or learn to find decent jesus avatars like phanatic.

 :D, you talking about "Jesus the Liberal"?

yeah, it looked just like this one character in Johnny Mnemonic who said "Jesus Time" before he tried to crucify someone...haha...man that scene was hilarious.