Back by Popular Demand: The Old-Timer's Thread (30+ only, valid form of ID required)

PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
in General 8021 karma
Hey everybody,

Since many people have been clamoring for this I thought I'd start a new thread for the older and non-traditional future lawyers among us. Feel free to ask any questions you may have or share any stories or ideas you think would be beneficial to the non-trad community here. I'll bump this thread as needed for awhile to keep things going if people are lurking more than posting.

All that being said, don't despair old people! This is not business school so you are not getting dinged for your age around here. I know we are getting late in the app season but if anyone has questions for applying as an older candidate then bring them on and myself and other old timers will do our best to assist you!

Also feel free to talk about any other old people stuff you want (e.g.- marriage, kids, finding a reliable babysitter, etc.) and most of all have fun!
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Comments

  • mimimimimimimimi Member
    368 karma
    Thank you for posting this. I am in! Here is one thing that has been on my mind all this time: I cannot, will not, shall not, (am unable to) pull an all-nighter in law school. Will I survive? (I cringe at hearing friends at HLS sleeping only four hours a day. )
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    I'll have to find the link on my computer later tonight for you, but there is a great lazy person's guide to law school on TLS that essentially treats it as a 9-5 job (and isn't even that lazy TBH) and is what I plan on implementing because unless I sneak into Duke and can keep my family together I'll be playing single dad to my two sons (4 and 20 months) so I don't foresee work being done at night haha.
  • runiggyrunruniggyrun Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2481 karma
    Thanks for the new digs @pacifico! And I do hope you get into Duke - if only they knew what a valuable member of their community you'd be!
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    I'm just hoping they like adorable babies because I'm about to strap my 4 month old to my chest and roll up there for a visit :)
  • mimimimimimimimi Member
    368 karma
    How long are your PS's? My word count is 1,350. Is that too long?

    @Pacifico Let me know if that baby visit works... I am bringing my son to the city. lol
  • runiggyrunruniggyrun Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2481 karma
    1350 seems a little long. I'm not applying this cycle, so I've not looked into the details, but it seems that the consensus is ~850 for most schools.
  • DumbHollywoodActorDumbHollywoodActor Alum Inactive ⭐
    7468 karma
    Gonna have my 4-year old twins sit in on a Torts class , during my visit, and see what happens.
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    Only one school I applied to had a word limit, it was 500! I knew the shortest page limit I had seen was two pages so I made mine exactly two pages so I could use it pretty much everywhere that didn't have a really restrictive prompt. Most schools fall in the two to four page range (while a few have no limit it seems that four is the recommended max no matter what since showing your ability to be concise definitely plays a role) so it sounds like you would fall in the four page range. Just be sure it's four pages that are equally good and there isn't a bunch of fluff that is unnecessary.

    And of course, be ready to either have a shortened version or an alternate PS that is two pages long. Of course, if you can do the former then that should probably be your regular PS anyways. People tend to fall in love with their own writing and it can be hard to whittle it down but the right editor can do it no problem.
  • stepharizonastepharizona Alum Member
    3197 karma
    Agreed most places I have seen are 2 pages, I can't remember which California T-14 it was but they allowed up to 4.
  • ampalacios329ampalacios329 Legacy Member
    34 karma
    I'm 36 and my kids are 18 months and 3 1/2 yo. I'm struggling to find a topic for my personal statement. I also need to write a diversity statement, as well as an addendum. One of my biggest concerns is mentioning the fact that I have children. I'm worried that it could be looked at as a negative i.e. they might think that I can't pull off going to school because I have kids and/or that my kids would be a distraction. Do you think that fear is unwarranted?
  • Nicole HopkinsNicole Hopkins Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4344 karma
    Hey what the hell, I'll be 30 in less than 6 months—this is exclusionary! ;)
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    Half my DS was about being a parent. I've wanted to be a father since I was about 12 years old which makes me somewhat of an outlier since most men don't really have that as a life goal starting in childhood. I really wanted to emphasize that point in my DS but was advised not to by my consultant because they knew of multiple admissions people who were unable to have children so it might not have come off so well if my DS ended up in their hands. So I left that aspect out but was still able to talk about how it allows me to bring a different perspective to school and the community.

    Furthermore, it also shows that you not only have a great motive to excel, but also that you are someone that they can rely on to show up and work hard rather than showing up drunk to class or the like. I think this last point is somewhat underrated because there are some schools that have really been burned by students getting DUIs and the like and are very wary of anyone with related C&F issues because of it.

    I would definitely recommend talking about being a parent in a DS and then find something totally different to talk about in your PS. You want your application to be internally consistent and essentially follow a consistent narrative (e.g.- hardworking mother of two that has done X, Y, and Z). That being said I would recommend trying to avoid being redundant when the school doesn't force you to as is the case with the employment section (fill it out!) and your resume.

    To further illustrate what I mean by that, I just got out of the Army after ~6.5 years and most military applicants submit apps that are 100% military front to back. This gets super redundant and boring and makes them very one-dimensional. So I let my resume do the talking for my military career and made my DS and PS about totally different things so they could see a more well-rounded individual. Veteran status is a great soft to set me apart from the crowd, and then not beating them over the head with it and showcasing other aspects of my life further allows me to set myself apart from the veteran crowd.

    Personally I only have one rule for writing a PS: don't be boring! If you're struggling to think of a topic for your PS my advice is to think of your favorite 5-10 stories from your life and whittle those down to the ones that 1) are not boring, 2) reveal something about you as a person (e.g.- hard work ethic, perseverance, ingenuity, etc.), 3) you can write about in two pages. Don't worry about it even having the word law in it. Just find an entertaining story to tell that can make someone laugh or perhaps teach them something they wouldn't know. Any way that you can grab someone's attention and engage them is a great place to start.

  • pritisharmapritisharma Alum Member
    edited January 2016 477 karma
    Thanks @Pacifico !! I had once checked law schools for average ages of incoming class. I think Columbia had the youngest crowd among the T6 that is .
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    I was really drawn to Northwestern because they skew slightly older and there seems to be more married students than anywhere else in the T14 and more parents as well. I spent a while lurking on the alumni/student NU thread on TLS and they seemed pretty cool and it sounded pretty collegial and anti-gunner for the most part.
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    Well @"Nicole Hopkins" it sounds like you have something to look forward to this summer ;)
  • ampalacios329ampalacios329 Legacy Member
    34 karma
    Thanks @Pacifico!
  • noobie1noobie1 Legacy Member
    266 karma
    40 and counting here. I'm surprised but encouraged to see fellow non-traditionals.
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    @mimimimi here is the TLS thread "Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends" I had mentioned previously: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=162799
  • aakriti.chaudharyaakriti.chaudhary Legacy Member
    edited January 2016 20 karma
    Btw.. i did my MBA and graduated in 2012. My batch had people from all age groups starting 22-ish and right up to 45 (you had 30 somethings and 40 somethings in the range). The lady who was 45 was absolutely adored by the batch. She was an engineer who worked for many years and then decided to give MBA a shot. I think she mentored a whole bunch of people in the class (and, in a much better way than proffs could - she was a part of the 'students group' after all). When we graduated, she went straight to becoming a Vice President (now President) - Marketing at a technology firm. Another friend is doing his MBA at Purdue right now, and it's the same in his batch. People from all age groups and life stages. So, I'm not sure the evenness in age-groups in classrooms is a characteristic of our times. If younger people now want to start working much sooner - right after graduation and join start-ups or have their own start-ups, then they'll probably want to finish higher education later in life. It's not like the older times where you need B.A. and M.A. to get a good job.
  • Nilesh SNilesh S Alum Inactive ⭐
    3438 karma
    @Pacifico - good guide that... essentially what I did... + a ton of practice exams... dunno my grades but I can wager that they are not at the bottom of the pile for sure.
  • AurBorealAurBoreal Legacy Member
    74 karma
    It is amazing to think that JY is barely 30 - and yet we are all drinking from his trough of knowledge now. I have absolute respect. I was always taught to respect my elders - but it is quite something to be in awe of one's chronological juniors!

    thanks for this thread @Pacifico - I'm only planning on going to Law School in 2017 - when I'll be 34... so when I finish my son will be 7 and I'll be 37... Its a big leap to move from double income no kid, to double income one kid, and a year from now: single income, 1 kid and one full time student. My poor wife... my poor in laws.

    To boot - we may even try and have another child between now and September 2017 - just to make it a bit more complicated. The way I see it though is that my father is 71 and still working: and he loves it because he has a practice and is at the top of his game(doctor.) Right now I'm in marketing and sales, and no one is over 45... it seems to me that in corporate (at least in my company) age and experience don't favour you that much. There is always an under-30 business school grad who is willing to work twice as hard for less money. So while we older folks are perhaps going out on a limb and taking a few steps back from the rat race and placing our families under a certain level of financial strain: my sincere hope is that I can practice for 35+ years after I graduate... which is longer than I've currently been alive.

    Anyhow - its early days for me. I got humbled in my diagnostic: 143 and BR 153 (In November last year). I've done 3 more PT's after the curriculum and am BR'ing at 162 with a PT score of 151 (logic games are my shortcoming - I've always kind of sucked at Crosswords and Sudoko - so LG feels very unnatural for me. Hopefully I'm not the exception to JY's foolproof method of mastering LG, because that's my only hope in that field) ... Slow and steady wins the race I hope. I plan to do 23 PT's between now and June... and if I don't do well then - then there's always December. I just want to get a good enough LSAT score so that I can get some kind of scholarship money: because the last thing I want to do is put my family in debt by pursuing this dream.

    As an aside: a general question to the people who have been prepping for 9 months or more... do you feel any effects in other areas of your life? Has spending 15+ hours a week thinking about the LSAT made any changes to the way you think/read/live? Will studying to become a better LSAT taker make us better law students? Is being able to get a good score on the LSAT the equivalent of mental core strength (i.e. Pilates/ Astanga) - or is it just building vanity muscles (crunches?)
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    To address your last question, check this out: http://news.berkeley.edu/2012/08/22/intense-prep-for-law-school-admissions-test-alters-brain-structure/

    I finished my MS in International Relations this past fall and definitely felt a huge difference in how I engaged in discussions with my classmates after prepping for the LSAT. I rarely even needed to address many of the factual inaccuracies people would assert because I would be able to just debate the flawed logic in their arguments and it made me much more analytical in my entire approach to our readings and the coursework in general.
  • mimimimimimimimi Member
    368 karma
    @Pacifico
    This is brilliant. I am also looking for 0L readings. Have you guys come across anything good?

    @CUNY_2017
    Logic games were not my strong suit to begin with (even though I'm a physics major) but I got better after tons of practices. After 7 months of prep, I started to live my life in 35-minute segments. I felt empty after my last LSAT... I have not been to a law school yet but have been though a lawsuit myself. I honestly could not see any connections between LSAT questions and a litigation. However, these days I argue less with my husband - most of the time his argument is so flawed that it makes me laugh. I guess that is also the bright side of taking LSAT?
  • pritisharmapritisharma Alum Member
    477 karma
    @mimimimi :-) "argue less" haaa same here :-) however I am even more irate due to all the madness and my enhanced capability to recognize it.
  • DumbHollywoodActorDumbHollywoodActor Alum Inactive ⭐
    7468 karma
    @Pacifico said:
    I had mentioned previously: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=162799
    I love a good hack as much as the next guy, but I think this guy’s a bit of a unicorn, despite his protestations to the contrary. According to his schedule, he seems to read 1 hour for every hour of class; That seems to go against the rate that I’ve heard is required (it seems to be more like 2 hours of reading for every hour of class).

    Also, he sort of glosses over what, I think, is the major difficulty of law school: knowing what relevant vs. irrelevant. It seems like he has a knack for knowing what will be pertinent for the exam and what’s not, yet that part of his guide is not really covered. It’s just “common sense” according to him. I posit that it’s this “common sense”, which I’d argue is not-so-common, that allowed him to do M-F 9-6 schedule.

    That being said, I think the ideas of putting it all in one notebook, memorizing stuff as you go, and reading assignments right after class are all great.
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    @DumbHollywoodActor if you read through the thread it seems to have worked for several people so I don't think he's a unicorn so much as he is efficient and judicious in what he does and doesn't spend his time on. And even if he does read at double the rate of the average person, I think it is good advice to not just squander all that empty time in between classes during the week.

    From everything I've read it seems to me that the biggest hurdle is just figuring out the system wherever you end up. The higher you go in the rankings the more similar things appear to be across the board while lower in the rankings it seems like law school is a totally different ball game. I've read about people in the lower second tier and throughout the third tier that had no idea what issue spotting exams were and a lot of law school was a bit more rote memorization of black letter law and regurgitation.
    @mimimimi said:
    I am also looking for 0L readings. Have you guys come across anything good?
    The only thing I'll read for law school before law school starts (if I even get to it) is Getting To Maybe. Aside from that I fall in the camp that thinks it is pretty pointless to prep for law school. You could spend months studying the wrong stuff, in the wrong way, and then you've just wasted so much time and energy and then it turns out it doesn't matter at all. If it were really necessary to prep before law school they would tell you what you need to know in advance much like many business schools do. Furthermore, if it actually mattered then everyone would do it because almost everyone who didn't prep would end up in the bottom half of the class and this is just not what's happening out there.

    You really need to focus on figuring out your professors and what they actually want from you on your final exams (which is not necessarily what they tell you they want, which seems to throw a lot of people for a loop). I think knowing what they really want is paramount to success as that way you can be as efficient and effective as possible during finals. Some professors will just reward high word counts and so that's good to know so you can just go in there and type for three hours straight because they'll let you throw everything against the wall and reward you for what sticks and disregard any pointless stuff you happen to write.

    I think far too many people get overwhelmed by the workload or course requirements or not looking like a moron in classes that are Socratic method heavy and they lose sight of what is actually important: the final exam.
  • Nilesh SNilesh S Alum Inactive ⭐
    3438 karma
    The best way to get the relevant v, irrelevant thing is not to just read the cases but to use a commercial outline before the course begins! I swear those things are magic.
  • AurBorealAurBoreal Legacy Member
    74 karma
    @"Nilesh S" - which commercial outlines would you recommend? Which ones are particularly 'magic'

    And to the parents who are not single parents - one thing I've found helpful in prepping for the LSAT, which I plan to take to law school, is capitalising on the early morning. If I'm in bed by 9:45 - then I can wake up at 4:45 and I usually go to the office and study until 8:45... This way I can still pick up our child after work and cook for him and get him to bed, and my wife can work a bit later. Of course - this relies on being able to completely hand over the morning duties to my wife. With this kind of schedule its important to then have as much time for family time on the weekend though: because mid week I have tunnel vision. To parents who are single parents: big respect. I have no idea how you guys do it.
  • Nilesh SNilesh S Alum Inactive ⭐
    edited January 2016 3438 karma
    @CUNY_2017 Its fairly standard so for me the best one that worked was the Civ Pro E & E (not strictly an outline but a supplement)... most people suggested it for contracts as well but for contracts I went and used "A Short and Happy Guide to Contracts" ... that series is pure gold: distills the law into 120 - 200 pages ... also read the "Short and Happy" series for torts and property (though the Property E & E is supposed to be good too)... for Con Law I say Emmanuel's (you can combine it with Chemerinsky... I didn't as I had taught the subject before albeit as a Pol. Sci. course) I also CALIed a lot in Contracts and bits of Civ pro. - CALI is an excellent supplement and you can get it for free at law school. It helps you learn the law well through exercises. The best supplements however were my profs old exams... While a commercial outline can give you the lay of the land for most subjects and make them easy to comprehend, every professor has their specific quirks that they like to test on say their own interpretation of the dormant commerce clause or the market participant doctrine... while you may or may not catch these through class, you will definitely catch them through question papers. This is why you should ideally go through a commercial outline a few days before the sem starts and look at question papers early on in the sem... and Do a ton of practice questions right from the beginning... because your prof may elevate the law of contracts to an art form/philosophy... mine certainly did... but you are judged on a 3 - 4 (sometimes a take home exam). And Law School exam answering is a learned skill. It gets better with practice.
  • Nilesh SNilesh S Alum Inactive ⭐
    3438 karma
    @Pacifico said:
    I think far too many people get overwhelmed by the workload or course requirements or not looking like a moron in classes that are Socratic method heavy and they lose sight of what is actually important: the final exam.
    Amen to this...
  • Nilesh SNilesh S Alum Inactive ⭐
    3438 karma
    @mimimimi if you're lookig for 0L readings then first read getting to maybe and then check out the short and happy guide series: http://shortandhappyguides.com/
  • Nilesh SNilesh S Alum Inactive ⭐
    3438 karma
    Also... if you learn by listening, then looking at audio outlines is good too... there's Law School Legends and the Sum and substance series and if you're particularly cheap like me, then there is something known as audio outlines 2 - 3 hour summaries of the law (you really don't need more) available on audible... I got mine for free because you can get up to 2 audio books free with audible if you get a 30 day trial with them. http://audiooutlines.com/about/
  • mimimimimimimimi Member
    edited January 2016 368 karma
    I don't know if anyone recall a HLS recommended reading list for JD students - I saw it somewhere before but cannot find it now (Maybe it's not that good?).

    @"Nilesh S" I've listened to S&S before! I love audiobooks and that's how I get most of my readings done these days. Is S&S relevant to law school work? One thing that I've learned from taking LSAT is that I just need one right prep book. I unfortunately started with the wrong one that messed up my habits and it took me a long time to correct it.. I will check out your list. Thank you so much!!

    @Pacifico Yep, I will get that book too.. I also plan to read The Law School Labyrinth. I bought this book back in 2009 when I registered my LSAC account...
  • Nilesh SNilesh S Alum Inactive ⭐
    edited January 2016 3438 karma
    @mimimimi yeah its a good supplement to class readings... you are right you don't need 30 + books a few good ones will be just fine... you won't have time to read all of them... my mainstays were the short and happy guides and for questions I used CALI and my prof's old papers. S & S are neat depending on the title Paula Franzese - Property law is pretty good. Joshua Dressler (Crim.) is superb too... their lectures will give you a good idea of black letter law. Its personal preference between those and law school legends.
  • runiggyrunruniggyrun Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2481 karma
    Finally bit the bullet and signed up for June LSAT. Apart from my husband, there's nobody else IRL that would really need to know, so I thought I'd tell you guys instead. I'm feeling oddly nervous, like this is somehow making it all real. I have a good job that pays well and is what I always thought I wanted to do. But it's stopped being really challenging a while ago, and the prospect of doing it for another 20 years, or worse yet, losing it and having to hunt for another similar position fills me with something other than elation. I started looking into patent law about a year ago, and unlike most of my peers I find it quite exciting and stimulating. I know this is what I want to do, but I'm not sure I'm brave enough to leap from my comfortable position into an unknown, potentially brutal market while sacrificing 3 years of pay.
    The LSAT is my first baby step. I'll know by July which way the risk-reward skews. If it's good enough to go to a local T30 school for free, or the local T3 with some prospects of well paid summer jobs I might be nudged to leap. If not, there's always the lab....
    (Apologies for the long ramble)
  • noobie1noobie1 Legacy Member
    edited January 2016 266 karma
    @runiggyrun If you're interested in patent prosecution the market is full of jobs for people with EE/CS degrees. Market is much worse for those with biology or even ME backgrounds. Generally, getting your first job is the toughest. It probably takes 2-3 years to learn how to write a good patent application. Having a good JD helps getting your foot in but it's more about your technical background. Your specific area of technical expertise becomes somewhat less important (for subsequent jobs) once you gain experience writing patents. Even though I have a science PHD, I have no plans to do patent prosecution after getting a JD.

    My humble opinion is that T3 or even T14 is probably overkill for patent prosecution. Patent prosecution is viewed as grunt work by a lot of attorneys. With the way billing works nowadays (fixed pricing per application), you can't write patent applications in biglaw forever. It's an unsustainable system for 95% of the lawyers IMO. That's why there is a shift in biglaw and companies to hire patent agents and technical advisors to do the prosecution work. Clients will often ask the law firm to hire or bring in agents or advisors to do work because they do quality work at half the cost. The majority of patent examiners are technical people not attorneys. They generally prefer to see technical arguments over legal arguments.
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    @runiggyrun said:
    it's stopped being really challenging a while ago
    I have found that once this happens only trouble follows. If the challenge is gone then boredom and complacency set in and that's no way to spend even another year of your life, let alone 20. Best of luck to you! Let us know if you need anything.
  • IPmummySFIPmummySF Alum Member
    73 karma
    Hey, I am a patent agent in a large IP firm. noobie1 is right! The field of your technical background is important. That said though, patent prosecution is not just writing patent applications. Some partners I work with still draft their own office action responses. That is still sustainable at their high billing rates. Then there is also the post-grant review (high budget work, usually overlaps with litigation). Also, there are firms who will pay for your law school too (you still have to bill at least 1300 hours or so). Several partners I worked with went to night school. I got into a T14 (maybe T10?) and weighing if I should do that or attend night school.
  • erikapbrownerikapbrown Member
    7 karma
    @Pacifico Thank you for this thread! I have been just an observer for a while but this thread is just right for my situation. I have benefited from knowing that I am not the only one in a less-than-ideal study scenario as a non-traditional student.

    @CUNY_2017
    Wow...your situation sounds just like mine. I appreciated the early morning tip you gave. I have been trying (and mostly succeeding) to start my study at 8:00 but I'm going to try this super early strategy you mentioned to see if I can get more time in!
  • runiggyrunruniggyrun Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    edited January 2016 2481 karma
    Thanks @noobie1 and @IPmummySF for your perspectives. I have a PhD in Chemistry and many years of pharma experience and I'm in Boston, which is probably one of the better markets for this sort of background. Most of the firms seem to expect their patent agents to enroll in law school down the road, and most would pay for a part time degree if you work for them full time( 1300-1500hrs/year). I'd do that in a heartbeat if I didn't have little kids, but four years of no mommy for bedtime would be a long time... I know at least a few firms that keep some of their agents as student associates during full time school - they seem to do that only for high ranking schools though. The hours billed would have to be less per ABA requirements and they likely don't pay your tuition, but it would be a nice foot in the door. I'm sure those positions are difficult to land but who knows?
    I'm not envisioning writing patents exclusively for decades, and our inhouse IP counsel definitely do more than that - I assume lawyers at firms do too.
    I'm glad to see other people with similar backgrounds in hereand apologies to the others for taking over the oldies thread. Oh, and congrats @IPmummySF on your T10 acceptance!
  • mimimimimimimimi Member
    368 karma
    @runiggyrun Registering for LSAT was the hardest part for me:) You are unstoppable now.
  • Chipster StudyChipster Study Yearly Member
    888 karma
    So, I am back in the saddle after the holidays and I had a strange thing happen to me that I would love to get some feedback on. A few weeks back I went over to the local T100 law school and had a visit with an admissions official - but not the Director or Dean. Very early into the discussion she asked me what I did for a living (I'm a surgeon) and then emphatically told me not to go to law school. That is also the response I have had from the attorneys in my family and others that I know socially. Are MDs generally frowned upon by admission committees? Are we seen as too... obnoxious, not seriously interested in Law, etc.??? It is, no doubt, not as strong a credential as a PhD but I'm just not sure about these reactions.
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    That's a fairly common reaction to anyone with either a high level degree or a job that pays well. Ultimately if it is what you want to do and you have an idea what you want to do with it then I would tell everyone to piss off. JDs are definitely valuable to doctors that have a desire to switch gears or take on more administrative roles or simply chart another course in life. There are schools out there with joint JD/MD programs so it's not like you would be the first person to go this route, you just took a bit longer to get there. I have plenty of friends that took $150k+ in debt to go to law schools in the 50-Unranked range and they largely say not to go to law school but that has more to do with their own regrets and debt burden than anything else. Do what you want and screw the haters.
  • Chipster StudyChipster Study Yearly Member
    888 karma
    Thanks for the info. Interesting info about your buddies with JDs from lower-ranked schools. It reinforces my notion to really try for T10 for better job prospects.
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    Well the calculus for me is a bit different since I'll be getting paid to go to law school so I could get a JD and never use it and be none the worse for wear. I think I just have a lot of friends who are intelligent people that didn't really know what they wanted to do so they just figured hey why not law school. I think 30-40 years ago it was a perfectly legit thing for aimless intelligent people to do in order to virtually guarantee a good career but now those dynamics have changed a lot.
  • noobie1noobie1 Legacy Member
    edited January 2016 266 karma
    @"Chipster Study" Based on your comments so far, I am assuming that you want to be a patent attorney. I think the negative feedback you're getting has very little to do MD's being frowned upon but everything to do with economics. The legal job market is just coming out of what some describe as the absolute low point (ca.2010). At the top, I believe the earning potentials for attorneys and surgeons are comparable. For everything below, surgeons will win out.

    As far as your technical background is considered, MD might be viewed as less attractive than PHD unless your clinical background would be of special use. I could also see MD's being grouped with PHD's from biological sciences. Of course, I'm brushing with very broad strokes so take all of this with a grain of salt. FWIW, the best patent attorney I've worked with started out as an MD who later went onto law school.
  • Chipster StudyChipster Study Yearly Member
    888 karma
    @"noobie1" I have an undergraduate engineering degree and worked in the field long enough to get my PE license. So, patent law is a definite possibility and something that I would find interesting. Also, very, very interested in public health law... maybe picking out a patient population that gets kicked around (e.g., burn patients) and doing advocacy work. At this point, I want the law degree as a tool to further a specific agenda. Almost certainly, if for some reason I could not do something in either one of those two areas, I won't pursue it.
  • Chipster StudyChipster Study Yearly Member
    888 karma
    @"pacifico" How did the LSAT turn out for you? I have been off the board for several months and missed out on the debriefs.
  • noobie1noobie1 Legacy Member
    edited January 2016 266 karma
    @"Chipster Study" With your engineering and medical background, you should have a lot of options in patent law. One underrated aspect of patent law is that people are generally happy and excited to talk to patent lawyers. In other specialization, lawyers are called upon because something unfortunate has happened. That being said, new patent attorneys get easily crapped on by clients (not to mention by partners as well as other attorneys). Clients hold all the cards because they can threaten to take portfolios elsewhere. Not only that, the clients know more about the technical details than you do. You no longer have the mystique that comes with being the only expert in the room. In fact, I would say for surgeon, one of the biggest challenge of this jump will be going from having a lot of respect from your clients to sometimes having very little.
  • runiggyrunruniggyrun Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    edited January 2016 2481 karma
    @"Chipster Study" sounds like you have a very good idea of why you want to get a JD, so I wouldn't put too much stock on what anybody thinks. I don't think they are worried that you would be arrogant, or unpleasant, or in some way unsuitable to be a lawyer. On the contrary, they might think you would find law unsatisfying. I think a lot of laypeople have this perception that doctors (especially surgeons) get to experience the joy of saving lives on a daily basis, while being revered and handsomely compensated for it, so it seems inconceivable that someone who's put up with long, hard hours of medical school and residency to achieve this status would want to give it up and do something else. That may or may not be how a doctor perceives his/her own life, and what they would find more or less worthwhile as a pursuit aside from medicine. You're the best judge of your life and passions, so do what you consider to be worthwhile
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