Law School Discussion

from science to law?

Re: from science to law?
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2007, 07:17:56 AM »
A good way to test this would be to switch a humanities major over to science courses, put a scientist in humanities classes, and see who fares better.  My money would be on the scientist every time.

Re: from science to law?
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2007, 01:40:34 PM »
This thread is getting to be almost as good as "Anyone plan on NEVER having kids?"....  :D

Re: from science to law?
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2007, 01:45:41 PM »
<=== has kids already.  Not really any going back now.


  • ****
  • 1061
  • Beer Lao. Why did I leave and come to law school?
    • View Profile
Re: from science to law?
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2007, 01:46:50 PM »
regretting participating...


(though to little effect)

Re: from science to law?
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2007, 04:36:48 PM »
No personal attack interpreted. All in the spirit of lively and intelligent discussion.

Again I bridle at your use of practicality as, itself, a measure of validity. Sometimes the least practical of all things is also the most educational. There is a time for practicality, but there is also a time for mental exercise performed in an artificial atmosphere, where the brain "muscles" themselves can work free of practical concerns. In fact, I believe that studying for the LSAT (and, to some degree, simply attending law school) is more an act of flexing mental muscles "impractically" in exercises, than it is an act of learning a set of real-world-applicable skills and data. But your idea about "naively feels good" is to me a sad comment on how far from rigorous the academy has allowed the humanities to slide. As someone who doesn't know Classical Attic Greek, yet attempted to complete doctoral studies in medieval literature, I consistently did the opposite of "naively feel good" about myself as I compared my accomplishments to those now unattainable standards of the high Victorian era of scholarship. Gosh, I could hardly have taught Latin on my own! And there they were, fluent in Anglo-Saxon, Greek, Latin, probably Hebrew ... there wasn't much "naively feeling good" about ME relative to THEM.

I certainly don't mean this as any sort of attack (as I mentioned, I'm a humanities student) and I enjoyed the work I did for my degree.  But while I certainly can't say whether or not the work I did could be considered be "harder" than the sciences, I think that the latter can and necessarily does involve (to quote you) "analyzing, categorizing, rearranging, synthesizing, breaking into parts, building parts into wholes, recognizing portions, finding patterns, repeating patterns, absorbing new assumptions..."

Yes, higher levels of the sciences allow for that array of mental skills. Perhaps I was in the wrong science courses when I was in undergrad. (We had one saying about Chemistry: "D!ck Rammette before he dicks you." Dr. Richard Rammette was famous for failing people for no reason. But he's misrepresentative ... I hope.) I found that 99% of the work was just ... memorizing. And I found, that somehow, the students in science assumed, that because the memorizing was difficult to enjoy (indeed, who wants to recite a phone book?), it was therefore more valid. Were I in courses where a wider range of mental skills had been expected, or ideally in classes where my mental capacity to sort out and rearrange arguments and procedures had been CHALLENGED, perhaps I wouldn't have found science so monolithic and myopic.

In fact, I'll change my tune a bit: I didn't find most of my humanities courses very challenging either. I did well in school just by paying attention. The few times I did poorly, it was because I decided I didn't like or trust the subject matter (as in Economics 101, for example; I am still convinced of the following: "Economics is full of rules, all of which apply to real-world situations and to valid theoretical analysis 100% of the time; except for the 99.999% of the time that an exception applies instead."), or I had something personal going on (like being despondent over not losing my virginity AGAIN ... ). I guess what attracted me to the humanities over the sciences was the fact that, presuming neither will be adequately challenging, at least in one there will be some other reward. For you, perhaps, the applicability was that reward. (I often bemoan my own lack of practical "resume" certifications. A BA in the Liberal Arts from some school and a two-dollar-bill will still only get ya' a cappucino. Even if that school is in US News's top 5 for the country!) For me, it was a different kind of stimulation: that of "projecting" my mind into the world views of another human -- Rembrandt, Shakespeare, a Mongolian herder.

Here's the ticket. I'm the sort of guy who solved the Rubik's Cube on his own. I still can do it, and sometimes I fiddle with it here in my bedroom. I worked out some permutations about what happens if you break it apart and then put it back together "wrong," what the topological implications would be (a rotation of 120 degrees left in one corner piece equates to two rotations of 120 degree right in ... etc.). I still look for that kind of stimulation. I certainly didn't find it in my undergrad science classes, and I'm sad that I didn't realize until "it was too late" that upper-level science might have been a lot more interesting for me. Ever since then, I've been living with the stigma of "having taken the easy road" by majoring in the humanities, although in fact my choice was made as much on the basis of mental rigor and a quest for difficulty, as on anything else, when I chose English. I just didn't know the rest of the world didn't have the same perception of English that I did at the time, and I've been trying to live it down ever since. "Oh, couldn't HANDLE something HARD like Chemistry" is the constant assumption. (Also, I attended a legitimate small private Liberal Arts school, but most employers  understand that to mean, "couldn't HANDLE something REAL like a major university, had to major in the FAKE courses like "liberal schmiberal.") So I feel the humanities deserve a little defending, if only because of my own enlightened self interest. I have the brainpower, I just got mislead into labeling it wrong. :(

This has been a delightful exchange. I'm glad there's no rancor. I really should study. Alonzo, Bobo, Chico, Dingo, Edwardo, Filostrato, and Georgio are calling.

You can't argue with the majority of 20 something idiots in this forum.  The amount of self-absorbed trite quips from these asses has reached an all time cynical peak that is just unbearable.  That's why kids (aka early 20s and below) can't read your posts.  They have too much ADD to pay attention for more than 2 seconds to even bother reading the first paragraph.

Society as a whole has gone to crap.  These people don't understand that undergraduate these days is really a second showing of high school - it's ridiculous.  It really is just to keep these animals we call humans in line so that the baby boomer generation - the one before yours can keep cashing in on their economic power orgasm before they retire and deplete all the natural, monetary, and sanity resources that are left.

I read your posts, and I think it is relieving to know that there are actually people that exist that still have some intelligence.  And by intelligence, I don't mean how fast you can read your engineering manual and learn how to do a Calculus 5 problem, which really only has to do with how fast you can process mathematical information.  It has nothing to do with your ability to see the world for how it really is and to ponder the philosophical questions that some mathematician couldn't fit into his calculations.

America as a whole values the mathematician though.  America values the technician aka the  specialized worker bee drone primarily over any sort of philosophical, ethical, or even worldly knowledgeable person.  If you stop to think, why should they?  You will come to the conclusion that these kids on here that want to be lawyers and make a lot of money are just more fuel for the fire.  They are a commodity. 

Of course most of them are going to fail at the LSAT, law school, the Bar exam, their first job, their first practice, or whatever they try, but it helps to make the more knowledgeable that are willing to leverage that worldly view with its vastly larger depth of field to take advantage of them and make money off their failed endeavors.

If you are creative, analytical, knowledgeable about how the system as a whole works, and can get specific when needed, you will be able to far surpass the engineer who is killing himself over complex engineering analyzes that eat up all his time and work to make some business guy money.  Unless that scientist has a broad world view and knows the ins and outs of what he wants to do and can differentiate himself from his competition while still having enough energy to do all that hard analytical work and still be able to have the patience and charisma of an entrepreneur who's company just IPOed and the wits/savvy of a high profile lawyer - he is not going to be able to succeed (financially) as well as say somebody who wrote a stupid book about a boy wizard (JK Rowling).

The hardcore engineering and scientific stuff when weighed side-by-side with other professions that very intelligent people take or businesses they start does not add up to an equal financial/time value input and output.


  • ****
  • 1383
  • pi = 3.14, k?
    • View Profile
    • bluewords
Re: from science to law?
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2007, 09:16:41 PM »
 This is quite amusing.

I will say only this: I found that my undergrad science courses required very little memorization, but did require many of the mental skills final_id claims can only be tried in the humanities. We were taught to question and to develop ideas on our own. On the other hand, I got through my humanities classes without much more than stylized bullshitting. Itís obviously probable that the humanities classes I took were a joke, and not representative of humanities education overall. But on the flip side, how can you conclude that because YOUR undergrad science courses were a joke, ALL undergrad science classes are brainless wastes of time? If I were an LSAT test-writer, this would be an argument test question: letís see if we can find the flaw in this reasoning.