I could have bought a nice car or something instead

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by dietcokefiend, Apr 25, 2007.

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  1. Metamorphical

    Metamorphical Good computer user

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    I have thought about it. =P
     
  2. flanken

    flanken Notebook Evangelist NBR Reviewer

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    Most lawyers don't actually spend that much time speaking in court; the ones that do are the ones that are best known to the public, thus the common perception of lawyers is somewhat inaccurate. Being able to write effectively is far more important to a good lawyer than good speaking ability. Many lawyers are never in court; they're drafting contracts, negotiating deals, and mergers and acquisitions for their clients. Even litigators (trial lawyers) spend much more time drafting motions and briefs than they do actually speaking in court. I will probably be a patent litigator, but most patent cases don't ever make it to trial; they tend to settle well before that.

    The one nice thing I realized about the practice of law is that as long as your mind is functional, you can be a lawyer, regardless of your physical disabilities. In my law school class we've got a girl with a stuttering problem and a quadriplegic, and neither of them has any difficulty with classes.

    Having a science degree is actually really useful for the practice of law. Me, I was a Biology/Psychology double major in college, and I also have a Physiology grad degree. A science degree is practically mandatory for patent lawyers, as you're dealing with complex inventions and need to be able to understand the jargon and talk to the inventors.

    I'm not familiar with how medical & legal education are organized in Canada, but if you do become a physician and are still interested in the law, you can always serve as an expert witness once you have some practical experience under your belt. It also pays quite well for a relatively small time commitment; a lot of academics tend to hire themselves out as experts in their free time.

    Of course, law and legal education has its own share of problems and idiosyncrasies; it's far from a perfect system. But that's an issue for another day. Just keep in mind that the grass may not be greener on the other side!;)
     
  3. CanadianDude

    CanadianDude Notebook Deity

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    One other thing about law school, for me, is that I come from an asian nationality. Ive written papers on racial prejudice when it comes to large corporations hiring business or law people and have read some nasty things.

    I doubt its true, but what are you opinions on that? Do you think it matters what visible minority you are when it comes to getting those jobs?

    That is mainly why Im in science, if I can become a physician I can be self employed and start my own practice.

    Im actually doing a medical science/biochemistry double major which is a pretty unique degree at my university. You said you went to grad school? That must have been a lot of work...so then how old are you if you dont mind me asking? I have respect for people who take their time and who dont rush into things because of external reasons. Judging by your education Id say you took some time thinking about what you wanted to do.
     
  4. CanadianDude

    CanadianDude Notebook Deity

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    quadriplegic? wow...i wonder how that person manages their classes
     
  5. flanken

    flanken Notebook Evangelist NBR Reviewer

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    She gets by with 24-7 assistance from several full-time healthcare workers. She has a huge motorized wheelchair she controls with her tongue. I'm not actually in her classes, so I don't know how she takes notes, but she's definitely doing all right in school.

    In answering your prior post, I'm 25. I'm also Chinese. So far, my ethnicity hasn't been a major issue in my search for a legal job; IP firms at least seem to emphasize your academic success. That being said, the leadership in the majority of larger law firms is still made up primarily of white men. I don't think this is all deliberate discrimination, but rather the vestiges of who had more educational advantages 20-30 years ago. Diversity is making its way into law firms, but it'll take several more years before you see a substantial number of minorities as partners (as opposed to associates).

    Grad school wasn't too bad, actually; the curriculum was basically the first year of med school. It was also a good way to spend my time while I mulled over what permanent career I wanted to pursue; I'd originally been thinking of medicine, but decided upon law while I was in grad school. The lesson from this is on the off chance that you ever find yourself uncertain of what you want to do as a career, don't jump right into professional school if you're not 100 percent certain that's what you want to do; there are plenty of ways to spend the time in a productive way that advance your career and leave your options open.
     
  6. Gator

    Gator Go Gators!

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    Nice post, thanks for sharing :)

    I will soon have a bachelors degree in computer engineering, but I am seeking to further my education after a few years in the industry. Law school is definitely an option, as I too plan on looking into intellectual property law. It is true what you say about most cases never making it to trial. It is also true that many law firms are headed by old white men, and this is perhaps due to the fact that many of those firms were founded by young white men decades ago.

    If I do go into law, I understand that I'll need to prepare for the LSATs. Any suggestions or advice on this or any other aspects of starting a career in law?
     
  7. Ice-Tea

    Ice-Tea MXM Guru NBR Reviewer

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    35k?

    God, I love my country...
     
  8. CanadianDude

    CanadianDude Notebook Deity

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    the only things ive heard about the LSAT is that you really need excel in reading and writing skills.
     
  9. flanken

    flanken Notebook Evangelist NBR Reviewer

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    As far as standardized tests go, the LSAT isn't particularly difficult or long, especially when compared to others like the MCAT. It tests mostly logical analysis skills and some writing ability. Generally, the most prep time you'll need is a few months of studying several hours per week. That being said, LSAT scores and undergrad GPA correlate relatively highly with how good a law school you'll get into. Engineers and science majors sometimes get the shaft simply because our grade distribution tends to be lower than the humanities.;)

    The rank of the law school you get into makes a big difference in determining whether you can land a good legal job. I wish this wasn't the case, but the fact is the ABA has accredited too many law schools, and some of the lowest-ranked ones are basically degree mills. The job market has become oversaturated with new JDs, and as a result many of the larger firms screen applications by school and by class rank within the school. This is less of a problem with IP firms, because lawyers with the necessary technical background to practice patent law are still a relatively rare breed.

    The most important thing you should do if you're interested in practicing law is to know that this is the kind of work you want to do. Try to talk to some attorneys working in a geographical area and field of law you're interested in. See how they like their work, and get an idea of what they do.
     
  10. CanadianDude

    CanadianDude Notebook Deity

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    What is the difference between a JD and an LLB
     
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