Law School Discussion

Should I proceed?

Should I proceed?
« on: July 23, 2013, 02:09:37 PM »

I am new here, and a very non-traditional student.

Here are my stats:
Undergrad - 3.46
Medical school - 3.95
Work - left medicine after internship in 2000 to stay home with kids; other that some entrepreneurial/investment type stuff (owner of children's gym, house flipping) that allowed me to be with my kids, I haven't worked since internship
Current - working on Certificate in Public Health and will proceed to MPH or PhD if I'm not accepted to law school
LSAT in October - I am a very good test-taker - scored 98th percentile on GRE, with a 5.5 out of 6 on the written portion, so I am pretty sure I can score well on the LSAT

I am 46.

I am limited to DFW, and need some funding (don't feel right dipping into my own kids' college funds to educate myself even more).

Do I have a chance at all?

Thanks for you input!

Re: Should I proceed?
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2013, 05:33:15 PM »
Yes, you definitely have a chance but it all depends on your LSAT score. the LSAT is such a major component to law school admissions/scholarship offers that without a real score everything is pure speculation.

Your undergrad GPA is the only one that law schools will pay much attention to, since it's the one that gets reported for statistical purposes. Your UGPA (3.46) is alright, but not exactly high for the purposes of law schools admission. Most applicants will have a similar GPA. In order to maximize your chances at scholarship offers you need to score very well on the LSAT. The fact that you did well on the MCAT or GRE is good, but it does not necessarily guarantee a high LSAT score. You'll still need to prepare as much as possible.

Law school admission is very numbers driven. Your med school experience/work experience will help, but your GPA and LSAT profile will still dominate the process.

I believe that SMU and Texas Wesleyan are the only law schools in the DFW area (might be wrong about that). Check out their admissions averages and you should get a good idea as to what LSAT range would make you attractive enough to offer significant money.

Current - working on Certificate in Public Health and will proceed to MPH or PhD if I'm not accepted to law school

I don't know you at all, but it sounds like you aren't sure what you want to do. Sort of like "Well I'd like to be a public health expert, but if that doesn't work I'll just go to law school." Or vice versa.

The type of work that you'll do as a lawyer vs. as a public health professional is very, very different. As a general rule, I'd say don't spend the considerable time and money on law school unless you really, REALLY want to be a lawyer.

Re: Should I proceed?
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2013, 07:53:50 PM »
Thank you for the input.  You are right that I only have two options for law school. So darn my UGPA, but it is what it is. My hope is that SMU will at least look at my med school transcript and see that this chick can handle the workload. I do plan to work my hiney off to ace the LSAT.  I'm not one to go into anything unprepared (though I was during undergrad, lol!).

As far as confusion, no, I really want to be a lawyer. I just need a back up plan because I am 46 and limited geographically. If I'm going to have a second career, then it  needs to happen soonest. And I have to be judicious about spending family resources, as I have two entering high school so funding their education is a higher priority. Public health can have me working on health policy and I would enjoy that, but law is my first choice. In either case I hope to put my medical background to good use.

Thanks for the input.  It's great to soak up all the wisdom from this site.

Re: Should I proceed?
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2013, 06:08:18 PM »
You absolutely have a chance at law school admission to either SMU or Texas Wesleyan the Dallas Schools with your GPA assuming your LSAT turns out ok, which I imagine it will.

Once you get your LSAT score you will be in a unique situation and if I was you, which I am not I might consider Wesleyan over SMU, because it is 14k per year cheaper resulting in a minimum of 42,000 in savings over three yeras. Additionally, you are much more likely to get a merit based scholarship from Wesleyan than SMU I know when I was a 0L I had a lower GPA than you, but a decent LSAT score and was offered a 15k per year scholarship so it would have only been 13,000 per year, which is not bad. SMU is 42k per year and your are less liekly to recieve scholarship money from there.

Money will be a big concern since you are starting at a later age and will have less time to recopu your investment and having to support two kids in College you will not want the money to dry up.

I also think you should know that at any ABA law school the education is identical, which I believe might differ from Medical School. In medical school there is equipment, labs, etc, which I believe would result in some schools clearly being better than others. However, in law school all you do is read Supreme Court Cases from a book there is no equipment etc you just read the same casebook written by the big time professors. At almost any law school you will read the Con Law book written by Chemerinsky and read the Marbury v. Madison, Lemon, etc cases, which all say the same thing.

At the end of your three years you will then sign up for BarBri or Kaplan and be in a room with law students from all the different schools again learning the same thing.

Additionally, with your desire to be in health law you would probably be a shoe in with an M.D. and J.D. that is very rare so I think your much better off going to the cheaper school.

However, you do want to visit the schools and see if they are a fit. Although the education is the same schools do have different cultures and you should talk to students, professors, admins, and walk around the school to see if it is a fit for you. If you really feel good about SMU and not Wesleyan then SMU may be worth the extra money.

Good luck whatever you decide.


Re: Should I proceed?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2014, 05:05:13 PM »
old threat I know, but I am curious if OP did go to law school.
If I had an MD I can't imagine going for a JD on top of it. Don't get me wrong, a JD is a walk in the park by comparison to an MD, it just seems like a lot of extra work.

If OP is out there though how did it turn out?

Re: Should I proceed?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2014, 09:55:45 AM »
I went through the application process, scored 171 on the LSAT, got accepted to the four schools I applied to with generous scholarships. And then I withdrew. I am three years away from sending my first to college, with my second right behind him. In the end, I feel like the three years can be better invested for my and my kids' futures.

Thanks for checking in on me!