Am I Smart Enough for Law School?

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    If you can go into medicine, I’d go for that. Psychiatry and neurology are great for people with analytical minds, and doctors are worthy and recieve plenty of kavod that other professionals do not have. According to the Rambam and many others, medicine is the highest avodah a person can perform in this world.

    Law is absolutely shot as a profession. Perhaps if the economy improves, people will hire more lawyers. As the population increases, the need for doctors increases. I finished some of my prerequisites and am doing volunteer work and some research, and within a year and a half, I’ll be applying to medical schools, IY”H.


    I love law school discussions. There’s thousands of frum lawyers – why don’t you ask one of them, instead of coming here and listening to PBA and Benignuman talking out of their hats?


    You could ask my husband.


    Ooh ooh, ask me.


    Hi Ender. What do you feel about law school? Are you currently in law school, or are you a recent graduate, or an applicant? Or perhaps you are one of the Harvard Law students that seem to be all over this board?


    Are you smarter than a 5th grader?


    Me? Yes.


    playtime, I have a suggestion for you that I thought of which may be an fabulous idea, or may be very flawed- maybe the law schoolers here can tell.

    1)Get a passing mark on your LSAT

    2) Then join a very mediocre local law school for your first year.

    3) Work very hard, and finish on the top of your class

    4) Then, as a top student, transfer to one of the poison Ivy.

    5) Then, once you’re registerd for L2, leave college to work for a supervising law firm- in place of college, and meanwhile study for the, um, bar (ouch),

    6) And become an Ivy league graduate with a stellar record.

    You lawschoolers, are my ‘6 steps to success’ laughably flawed?


    Pixelate: Yes


    They simply make no sense. You could, in theory, take the LSAT. You could also, in theory, do well enough to transfer out of a bad school, although the whole class is planning on being the top few %.

    After that, you can’t leave school. If you transfer and get a job, the job is not until the next summer. You need to get a certain number of classroom hours to graduate.


    Ender, Veltz,

    Shucks, I was about to start charging for my advice.


    1, how many classroom hrs do you need to leave, and

    2, could the classrm credits come from another college in L1, and

    3, also, does the school you’re transferring to look at your LSATs?



    1) I am pretty sure it varies by the state, but its about 85 credits (also called “Credit Hours”)

    2) yes, most schools allow a student to transfer about 30 Credits, which is around the amount most students earn in 1L



    No, of course that would work. It is a brilliant plan. I think I’ll do it myself.

    Benign? What you think?


    Done! Just applied to Columbia. I’ll work hard, finish top 1%, then transfer to Fordham.


    To the Opening Poster: You have asked the wrong question, or at least the wrong number 1 question. The number 1 question anyone considering a professional school with a price tag like law school is, what levels of income are recent grads experiencing? And getting a straight answer from a law school is not as easy as you might think. There are lots of news reports indicating that there is a glut of young lawyers at the present time. Get that answer before you commit yourself to investing $100,000 in cash and borrowed money, and 3 years of time, in which you could be earning money.


    Done! Just applied to Columbia. I’ll work hard, finish top 1%, then transfer to Fordham

    Which University in Columbia? lol


    The country is spelled Colombia. The university is Columbia.


    spoiler! ;(



    Switch “passing grade” to “passable grade,”switch “supervising law firm” with “government externship” and switch “Ive League” for “Harvard” (where there are only 3 grades) or even better “Yale” (where there are none). Everything else looks perfect.


    “a passing mark on the LSAT”

    yikes. I hope no one is actually attempting to glean information/advice from this thread.


    “a passing mark on the LSAT”

    yikes. I hope no one is actually attempting to glean information/advice from this thread.

    Oooh, someone’s sensitive. I bet he didn’t pass a LSAT Test.


    I prefer “LSATs”.

    And FYI, I actually managed to score the mythical 120. Rutgers-Newark immediately offered a fee waiver.


    benignuman- Everything else looks perfect

    according to ender that the school you’re transferring to looks at your Lsat, you would never get in.


    Transferring will cause you to lose your class rank.


    Transferring will cause you to lose your class rank.

    And your class.


    Pixelate: They look at your LSAT, but they look at your grades even more. The whole point of the LSAT is to attempt to predict grades anyway.

    Either way, the smarter plan is to get a good LSAT grade, use that to get a scholarship at a worse school, then transfer after getting great grades. (still easier said then done though).


    aha, so I should start charging for my advice.


    Veltz Meshugener: Sorry I didn’t notice your questions earlier. I am currently in law school (no, not Harvard). My thoughts on going to law school: Unlike the good old days when law school was a great idea for any smart yeshiva guy that wants to make good money, it is no longer a good idea. However someone who really thinks he will enjoy being a lawyer should still go. While there are no guarantees to success, I don’t think it is any worse than other fields nowadays (other than medicine).


    Medicine is not that great anymore. You’ll spend all of your best years in school, taking out hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans, and nowadays you won’t even make enough later on to really justify it (unless you go into one of a few specific specialties– neurology, pathology, radiology, dermatology, and two others I’m forgetting). Law, as a whole, has greater earning potential and you only need three years of grad school before entering the field.


    jewfem- the high end of medicine is similar to the high end of lawyers. The low end is far better in medicine though.


    I know quite a few of unemployed or under-employed Lawyers

    A bunch of them do Discovery on temp basis (Basically going through mounds of papers) very boring


    I met someone who took the bar today. He didn’t seem so smart to me.

    And he had already FINISHED law school.


    PBA: You saw someone who didn’t seem smart after sitting in a room for six hours answering the hardest multiple choice questions and essays you can imagine. I wonder what impression you would make on someone who is seeing you for the first time under the same circumstances.


    frumnotyeshivish, first-year associates can make $160K straight out of law school. Can the same be said for doctors? And do you see lawyers being shipped off to residencies in random places, working 36 hour shifts at a time for years?


    JFem: Plenty of doctors make more than 160K starting salary (a higher percentage than law school graduates making 160K), and I am not aware of any hospitals that still allow, let alone require, 36 hour shifts.


    In the long term, lawyers have a better financial outlook than doctors. 8 years of education (and therefore loans) versus 3 years makes a big dent in a doctor’s salary.

    Borough Park Mensch

    OP,I am an attorney.

    Please stop wasting your time here by receiving advice most of which is coming from people who have absolutely no idea about what they are talking.

    Broadly speaking, I believe you need to do at least two things:

    1. Visit a few law schools and sit in on some first year classes. This is arranged through the Admissions office.

    2. Speak to some actually practicing lawyers. Better yet, see if you can “shadow” a few for a day at a time.

    You might be interested to know that your father-in-law’s office is actually considered a small firm. There are many views of what constitutes a large law firm but in my way of thinking, 500 lawyers is the minimum. Publications like “The American Lawyer” and “The National Law Journal” annually publish different lists of law firms they say compose “BigLaw” based on things like total number of lawyers, profits per partner, etc. I know three partners at one of the top two firms. It has nearly 4,000 lawyers.

    You need to have a serious sit down discussion with your father-in-law. A firm of 10-20 lawyers quite likely has a few partners. If your father-in-law were practicing on his own, he could guaranty you to take you in upon graduation (which in my humble opinion is crazy without even seeing your first semester grades) but if he has partners, he may not be able to make such a promise. How sure are you and he that three years down the road you will be hired even before you pass the bar exam?

    Also, what do the lawyers in his firm do? Is it one field of law, e.g. Personal Injury, or several? What if you have no interest in what they are practicing? What if you are not good at it?

    We are talking about your future. This is not the time for jokes. Don’t waste your time with the Coffee Room badchan and his fellow clowns. Find some people who will give you advice on a face to face basis. There are plenty of lawyers in our community.

    Good luck!


    <me>after sitting in a room for six hours answering the hardest multiple choice questions and essays you can imagine

    essays? that’s hard? lol

    multiple choice? that’s hard? lol

    6 hours! Oh, my! Wanna know how long a real workday is? lolol

    That’s how hard it is? I bet niece could pass it.


    8 years of education? Are you including residency? Doctors get paid during residency. Not a lot, but enough to survive on depending on one’s familial situation and life style.


    Jfem02, I disagree completely.

    First, where do you get 8 years vs. 3 years. Law school is 3 years, med school is 4. Are you counting college? Because law school applicants need college too, although some can do the BTL thing. Are you counting residency? Residency is paid, albeit not that much.

    But back to your larger point- yes, the financial outlook might be better for someone on track to become a partner at a large wall street firm, but that discounts the reality that there are huge numbers of law school students who simply will never get jobs as lawyers. A select few will get jobs at big firms and either make it or burn out. Others will get low paying jobs, and many will never work as lawyers at all. In medicine on the other hand, there is a limited number of spots in schools and that correlates with a regulated profession where the schools are not pumping out more grads than the market can handle. Put another way, just about everyone who goes to medical school can work as a doctor. Not everyone will be in a lucrative orthopaedic surgical practice, but they will have steady, well paying jobs for as long as they like. Not so at all with lawyers. There’s an old joke- what do you call the person who finishes last in his medical school class? Doctor. Not so for law school. Yes, there are changes on the horizon for the medical profession, but that has been the case for at least the last 30 years.


    jewishfeminist02 who said “In the long term, lawyers have a better financial outlook than doctors. 8 years of education (and therefore loans) versus 3 years makes a big dent in a doctor’s salary.”

    1. Virtually all MDs become doctors, whereas only some JDs become lawyers. Most doctors serve a fairly well paid apprenticeship (“residency”) with horrific hours, even if they are required to get sleep in states (and then only due to lawyers suing for malpractice). Most JDs entering the practice of law have to scramble for a job, and only a handful get well paid “associate” positions.

    2. Virtually all doctors are employed as doctors, even if they were at the bottom of the class in a not famous medical school. Many JDs have trouble finding a job that requires a law degree, and the bottom of the class from a good law school, and anyone from other than the dozen or so elite law schools, will often find himself as entering a “solo practice” whether they like it or not.

    3. There are inexpensive law schools, and they tend to be easy to get into (and there is the option of “reading law” in many states). The inexpensive medical schools are very hard to get into. It is sometimes possible to get a free medical degree by agreeing to work for certain employers (not just the military) after graduation.

    4. If someone wants to be a lawyer, or a doctor, they should try. If they enter a profession they dislike since they think it is a meal ticket, they will probably fail miserably, and still owe on the student loans.


    I just heard a lawyer joke.

    At common law, what is the punishment for bigamy?

    Two wives.


    ” I know three partners at one of the top two firms. It has nearly 4,000 lawyers.”

    Sounds like you barely know anyone. I am not a lawyer but I know more than two dozen partners in various big law firms. I dont mean to be insulting, but based on your advice, he probably shouldnt be taking advice from you.


    To get into Touro Law, you don’t need a particulary good LSAT score (around 151) and a 3.2 cGPA.

    50% of applicants are accepted. One can achieve a 151 LSAT score without any practice (seriously).

    But to get into a half-decent law school, it has nothing to do with being “smart enough”, but rather how much work you are willing to put in.

    If you are still in College/University, work your hardest to end your last two years with a 3.7+ GPA.

    If you have already completed College/University and are unhappy with your overall GPA, consider taking a Masters Program which can only help your case for accesptance. Additionally, study study and study again for the LSAT because its worth 50% of your admission.

    I reccomend the PowerScore books for LSAT study books.


    Let me clarify a few points:

    First of all, when I say 8 years, I am counting residency. I understand that residents get paid, but not much. So when I say that lawyers can make $160K straight out of law school– well, doctors can’t make anything close to that until they finish residency, so that’s why I start the clock there.

    Second of all, it is true that many law school graduates do not end up working as lawyers. But that is because they don’t WANT to work as lawyers, not because they CAN’T. A lot of liberal arts college graduates just go to law school for something to do, because they aren’t qualified for any job and don’t really know what they want to do. But they aren’t really passionate about law. Some end up going into policy; others go for an MBA (more loans!) and work in the business world. Yes, the law schools are overcrowded and there aren’t enough jobs. But for someone who truly cares about law and works hard, it is possible to excel. I think the profession as a whole would be better off without the glut of students who are just lost and looking for a direction. But even as is, law is lucrative and responsible, and a good choice from a frum person. There are even law firms with high percentages of frum lawyers, from large firms (Mintz Levin) to small firms (Rothenberg). My husband has an interview with Mintz Levin next week (and others). The first year of law school was incredibly hard to get through, not least because we got married ten days after final exams ended, but now that we are over that hump, I’m very excited for his future success.


    “I think the profession as a whole would be better off without the glut of students who are just lost and looking for a direction. “

    What else would you have people do with their Bachelor of Arts? 🙂



    A medical resident, albeit with the 24/7 work schedules (except in the few states that have banned it), get a middle class salary even as a resident, and is guaranteed professional employment unless he horribly screws up.

    Most law school graduate have serious troubles finding professional work. While the job market is good for the top of the class at the leading (NYU, Columbia, etc.) law schools, but the bulk of the class at the bulk of the law school, there is no “pot of gold” at the end and for many, if not most, the choice is between taking non-legal employment or starting at the bottom (perhaps unpaid) and building up a practice. The well paid associates at “Big law” are quite rare and getting rarer due to the economy.

    If someone wants to be a lawyer, realizing the pay can be very mediocre, but its the thought of job you want – its a good career choice. But if they think its a way to become rich, they are making a horrific mistake.


    I agree that no one should go into law as “a way to become rich”. I also believe the same of medicine. Come to think of it, no one should go into ANYTHING as “a way to become rich”. Do something you enjoy, or else all the money in the world won’t make you happy.

    If you go to a halfway decent law school and get halfway decent grades, you may not be guaranteed a spot in BigLaw, but you can easily get a job in public interest. Or start with a local clerkship and go from there. The market is really not as tight as people think it is. There are tons of candidates, but also tons of jobs. You just have to know how to look for them, and be open-minded regarding your criteria. Obviously, the better your grades, the more selective you can afford to be.


    JFem: To get a big firm jobs now a days you need to have good grades in a great school, or great grades in a good school. Unlike several years ago, even a public interest or government job paying 45K-60K starting cannot be taken for granted for students with good grades in a good school.


    Jewish feminist, I don’t want to rain on your parade, and I wish your husband the best of luck. But it’s not true that “f you go to a halfway decent law school and get halfway decent grades… you can easily get a job in public interest.”

    Unless you define a halfway decent law school as Columbia-Georgetown (following the US News rankings), and even from those schools, it is very difficult to find a job these days. Furthermore, even if it’s true that you could find public interest jobs, a frum family is unlikely to subsist on a public interest salary. Local clerkships are not much better. What opportunities are there for people finishing up local clerkships? It seems to me that other than federal and state supreme court clerkships, they just buy you time to find a random low level job while still collecting (some sort of) paycheck.

    Complicating matters further, Biglaw jobs are only viable for a few years because most firms practice some version of “up or out”. The better exit options are in corporate law, at which frum people supposedly have a disadvantage because of shabbos.

    Undoubtedly, frum law students can achieve good, even amazing outcomes by going to law school. But equally certain is the massive risk that law school entails for most frum students. Two people with identical abilities, resumes and LSAT scores can work equally hard, get equal grades, and have an equal number of interviews. But because of factors completely outside their control or knowledge, like a firm going under, or an interviewer having already called back two students with yarmulkas, one can be well-to-do and the other begging after five years. This is not a doomsday scenario – it happens all the time.

    I have immediate experience in this realm and if your husband wants to contact me he can get my info from Popa Bar Abba.

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