Law School

For those that I haven't told yet, I've decided to go to law school. I'm going to take the LSAT at the beginning of December and then apply to schools in December/January. This is a decision that's been a long time coming and that I've been getting more and more committed to of late. To give the best explanation I can of this decision: I've been toying with the idea for well over a year, largely because I think politics or diplomacy would be the sorts of careers where I could get away with my boisterous, high volume, talk a lot, center of attention style and put it to good use. Add to all that, that I like arguing a bunch and you've got arrows pointing towards a law degree. However, I was stuck in the I must do science mindset considering law school as a lark until about a month ago when I half-jokingly asked a friend for life advice, he suggested law school and a whole bunch of things clicked into place in my head.

I know that I have a great mind for math, science and engineering but I've been riding that for years, not needing to put much into it and not really getting much out of it. I know exactly what things will be like and where I'll end up if I keep doing science and engineering, which pretty much takes all the fun out of it so I'm going to stop coasting and choose a different direction; it's proactive time.

Since it's on a related note, my chief regret in the way I handled my MIT education is that I let my must do science mindset run things and didn't consider the non-technical classes to have much value. In retrospect, I wish that I had taken more architecture classes while I was there. This desire is not because I want to be an architect professionally, but because I did when I was 5 and expect that it would have been a lot of fun to design a few buildings.

Comments

This is awesome. I know exactly how you're feeling with the technical bit. If it's any consolation, It'll be easier to study humanities independently than engineering, or go back to school for it, at least.

This sounds good, George. I think it might well be a good match for your abilities, although you should probably take a little while to clarify what you think your legal interests might be.

My brother applied thinking that he would want to take a job in a big firm, only to find during his various summer internships and such that he was probably going to hate it. For some reason, though, he decided not to start looking for positions in DA's offices or in other public legal offices while in school. This put him at somewhat of a disadvantage when he was looking to change jobs from the firm in DC, because he didn't really have any experience doing their kind of work, and so he was an unknown quantity trying to skate by essentially entirely on his transcript. Thankfully, it worked out for him.

Some of the things you might want to consider are the following: 1) Does it matter to me whether there is a moral element to my work? That is, am I fine making big bucks in the name of defending often questionable businesses and individuals, or would I rather help fight those people, prosecute them, or defend the poor?

2) Does civil law interest me at all? Do I want to spend my life nitpicking contracts and such?

3) Do the points of civil procedure interest me? Does the idea of spending months in the discovery process, trying to cobble a case together out of the facts I can dredge up, hold any appeal? Or would I rather have the case already prepared (as a prosecutor or public defender does) thanks to the diligence of the cops involved in a criminal case?

4) Am I sure I want to be a lawyer/judge indefinitely, or do I definitely want to go into politics or diplomacy? In the case of the former, there is a political element (some judges are elected), but in the case of the latter, I should consider that district attorneys' offices and so on are often a staging ground for a career in local politics (at which point I can work my way up the ladder).

I hope some of these ideas help. I can always pass along my brother's contact information if you want to ask him more about law school, the various kinds of law (my brother might have stayed in civil law if he could've been an admiralty lawyer, for example), and so on.

Dude, sounds like your plan is coming together. Sweet!

Where are you considering going to law school?

If you went to UT we could be roomies :-P

-repak

With any luck, it should be coming together solidly in about 10 months. The schools list as it currently stands is (in no particular order):

Yale
Harvard
Stanford
Columbia
NYU
UChicago
Northwestern
Cornell
UCBerkley
BU

DUDE! CORNELL! NO CONTEST!