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. flanken

    flanken Notebook Evangelist NBR Reviewer

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    Absolutely nothing. Law schools used to give out LLBs, but over time schools moved to awarding JDs, as they considered it more commensurate with a professional school degree. That being said, no self-respecting lawyer would have the chutzpah to be addressed as "Doctor." That's reserved for the rare SJD degree, equivalent to a PhD in law.
     
  2. CanadianDude

    CanadianDude Notebook Deity

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    Thans for clearing that up. Do you think Law school is easier to get into than medical or dental school? I think there are alot more Law schools in the US than medical or dental schools. Im not saying Im going to go into Law because it is easier, Im just curious, Im alwyas curious for some reason, must be why Im in science.
     
  3. ejl

    ejl fudge

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    speaking for the u.s., law school is easier to get into b/c it is mostly dependent on your grades/test scores....but obviously, the top law schools will be very difficult to get into. for u.s. medical schools, it is fairly difficult to get in if you an international student, plus, you have to have a lot of extracurriculars instead of just gpu/mcat scores being the primary focus.
     
  4. CanadianDude

    CanadianDude Notebook Deity

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    So you're saying US Law schools base most of their decisions on academic standing and LSAT scores? Thats not what I have been told.
     
  5. flanken

    flanken Notebook Evangelist NBR Reviewer

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    Most US law schools do indeed base their decisions on academic standing and LSAT scores. There's a fairly high correlation between a law school's average student undergrad gpa/lsat and its US News ranking (I'll save discussion of that controversial index for another day, but it's the de facto standard of rating law schools).

    Medical school is overall much more difficult to get into. Part of this is the difference in the way medicine and law perceive the admissions process: getting into med school is seen as one of the largest hurdles one has to get across, and after that schools will make every effort to ensure you pass the USMLE boards, and unless you really screw it up, you're guaranteed to match with a decent residency program and end up with a decent-paying job. By comparison, in law school the big hurdle is really passing the bar and securing a good legal job. The law school admissions process is relatively insignificant; unlike med school, it typically doesn't even have an interview. Also, with the huge numbers of law schools in the US, you can be a relatively poor student and still be able to get in somewhere. But as ejl said, the top law schools are probably as competitive as med schools in terms of admissions.
     
  6. CanadianDude

    CanadianDude Notebook Deity

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    Going to one of the bottom tier schools probably isnt a good thing, however. So then what do the students who graduate from bottom tier schools do then? Large firms prefer graduates from well respected schools, according to what you have said.
     
  7. flanken

    flanken Notebook Evangelist NBR Reviewer

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    Yeah. Some of the lowest of the low are basically little more than degree mills. They have low admission standards, take large numbers of students who really stand no chance of passing the bar and basically flunk out a substantial portion (~30%) of the class at the end of the first year to keep their bar passage rates up. There have even been lawsuits alleging that this practice is a fraudulent way of grabbing tuition money from students who really shouldn't go to law school.

    As for employment, the answer to this question requires a quick overview of law firms generally. The larger firms (100-500 lawyers) tend to be national and serve large corporate clients. These tend to be very selective in their hiring, looking heavily at grades and school prestige. The pay tends to be very high, and the hours tend to be inhumane. Smaller firms tend to serve smaller businesses and individuals, and have a more regional focus. Lower pay, sometimes better quality of life. Graduates from lower-ranked schools typically get jobs with smaller firms unless they're in the top 10% of their class. The other career path for them is to become contract attorneys (i.e., temps) working for an agency that hires them out to large firms to do document review and other relatively mind-numbing work.

    Of course, there are many exceptions to these rules; most importantly, you can beat the odds if you know someone influential at a law firm, or if your school has a special and lasting relationship with a certain practice area or group of firms in the area.

    Legal academia is even worse in requiring prestige; regardless of where they're currently teaching a majority of law professors hold JDs from Harvard, Yale, Boalt, and any of the other top 14 law schools.
     
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