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Prelaw Is No Prep for the LSAT
The Volokh Conspiracy ^ | 9-1-2009 | Jonathan Adler

Posted on 09/01/2009 12:43:02 PM PDT by stan_sipple

Using 1994-1995 and 2002-2003 data, Nieswiadomy (1998, 2006) found that economics majors scored well on the LSAT. These results are frequently posted on university web sites by Economics and other departments. This note, which updates the prior studies using current 2007-2008 data for the 2008-2009 class of students entering law school, finds that Economics majors still perform at or near the top of all majors taking the test. Economics majors (LSAT score of 157.4) are tied for first (with Philosophy) of the 12 largest disciplines (those with more than 1,900 students entering law school). Economics is tied for second (with Philosophy/Religion (157.4)) behind Physics/Math (160.0) in a set of 29 discipline groupings that are created to yield at least 450 students with similar majors. I also think the data suggests that those disciplines that place a greater emphasis on logic and syllogistic reasoning are better preparation for the LSAT than those that do not.

(Excerpt) Read more at volokh.com ...


TOPICS: Education
KEYWORDS: collegemajors; economics; lawschool; lsat; prelaw

1 posted on 09/01/2009 12:43:03 PM PDT by stan_sipple
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To: stan_sipple

Tthe fundamental problem is an overage of attorneys.
Of course our local tv stations would probably go out of business if they lost all the adverts for personal injury and social sec disability tort hounds.


2 posted on 09/01/2009 12:47:38 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: stan_sipple

I would have thought other left brain disciplines would have beat out Philosophy.

But then any engineer taking the LSAT would probably be doing it because he washed out of engineering.


3 posted on 09/01/2009 12:48:56 PM PDT by Pessimist (u)
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To: stan_sipple
I have a close friend who is on the board of directors at a law school and he told me the best way to prepare for law school is to take a lot of writing classes in college. I graduate this semester and am starting Law School next year and what I figured out is that once I start Law School I will be so glad I'm not in another F’n writing class that law school will be a breeze.
4 posted on 09/01/2009 12:53:04 PM PDT by txroadkill (The SDS has taken control of the country.)
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To: Pessimist

But then any engineer taking the LSAT would probably be doing it because he washed out of engineering.


Or he could be someone going to make stacks of $$$ as a patent attorney after he aced engineering school, had good job offers, but recognized that engineers tend to plateau after 10 years, unless they want to go into management.

You have to admit, it is a possibility.


5 posted on 09/01/2009 12:54:56 PM PDT by freedomlover (Make sure you're in love - before you move in the heavy stuff)
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To: freedomlover

engineers might have a hard time finding work with all our manufacturing going overseas. but an engineer with a law degree could make a killing doing patent litigation. theres really no way for a lawyer with a non-technical background to get into patent work.


6 posted on 09/01/2009 12:58:29 PM PDT by stan_sipple
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To: nascarnation

I’ve actually been toying with the idea of becoming a lawyer. Primarily focused on being a prosecutor for SEC cases. Of course, I would basically have to go back and get a bachelors (sooooooo long out of college and totally wrong major) AGAIN ... but economics might not be a bad course of study.

And then there is the cost ... ouch


7 posted on 09/01/2009 12:59:16 PM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: txroadkill

some of the very best law students used to be journalists who got good at writing very fast. filling up a lot of blue books cant hurt your chances on an exam


8 posted on 09/01/2009 1:00:00 PM PDT by stan_sipple
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To: Pessimist
I would have thought other left brain disciplines would have beat out Philosophy.

Actually I took the LSAT test with a degree in Philosophy did really well. Being able to read with good comprehension is what this test is about.

After deciding not to be a lawyer, I went and got another degree in Electrical Engineering, which was a breeze after Philosophy.
9 posted on 09/01/2009 1:00:46 PM PDT by microgood
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To: taxcontrol

take corps, criminal law, specialized securities, administrative and tax courses. if you cant get on with the SEC try out for your state’s securities regulator, attorney general or local prosecuting attorney’s office.


10 posted on 09/01/2009 1:02:07 PM PDT by stan_sipple
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To: stan_sipple

A reasonably intelligent person could spend six months studying and pass the bar exam. It’s not that hard.


11 posted on 09/01/2009 1:03:08 PM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: stan_sipple

I dont doubt you are right. But everytime I try to read a patent application my eyes glaze over.

Tedious and boring way to make a living IMHO.


12 posted on 09/01/2009 1:04:06 PM PDT by freespirited (The only thing growing faster than the deficit is Chris Matthews' man crush on Obama -- Tim Pawlenty)
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To: nascarnation

of course they’re all looking for that million dollar case too


13 posted on 09/01/2009 1:04:59 PM PDT by stan_sipple
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To: Pessimist

“I would have thought other left brain disciplines would have beat out Philosophy.”

Yes, well, the LSAT isn’t about that sort of thinking persay. it’s about cracking boring and seemingly impenetrable paragraphs. Philosophy students spend a lot of time reading dense treatises that may or may not be meaningless, and in any case, things regular people think pointless.


14 posted on 09/01/2009 1:06:28 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: stan_sipple

I thought you were Pre-Med.


15 posted on 09/01/2009 1:06:29 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: stan_sipple

The best preparation for the LSAT is to be smart. And there’s a concentration of smart students at the top-ranked colleges. Those colleges rarely have a ‘prelaw’ major, which means most prelaw majors come from students at lower level schools. Also, some majors have few ‘unsmart’ students, such as math and physics.

As other Freepers have noted, facility with writing is also useful for law school.


16 posted on 09/01/2009 1:09:26 PM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: stan_sipple

Yeah, I’m thinking that my comp sci with emphasis is networking and cryptography is not a really solid background to build on for security regulation. :-)


17 posted on 09/01/2009 1:11:04 PM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: SeaHawkFan

“A reasonably intelligent person could spend six months studying and pass the bar exam. It’s not that hard.”

That’s the way it used to be. An aspiring lawyer would apprentice with an experienced attorney until he learned enough to be accepted by the legal community and the pubvlic at large as an attorney. Medicine and engineering were simlar. The only reason one went to a non-military college was to become either a minister or an educator.


18 posted on 09/01/2009 1:21:19 PM PDT by bobjam
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To: 9YearLurker

pre-law programs also allow less qualified but “deserving” students the chance to become political activists and earn enough brownie points to make up for their intellectual shortcomings.


19 posted on 09/01/2009 1:37:52 PM PDT by stan_sipple
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To: dfwgator

i cracked open an mcat prep book once and shut it right away!


20 posted on 09/01/2009 1:38:48 PM PDT by stan_sipple
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To: taxcontrol

theres tons of litigation over the internet


21 posted on 09/01/2009 1:40:31 PM PDT by stan_sipple
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To: SeaHawkFan

the bar exam passing rate has been steadily falling for several years


22 posted on 09/01/2009 1:41:54 PM PDT by stan_sipple
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To: bobjam

im sick and tired to of law schools that go out of their way to recruit “diverse” student bodies with special seminars, class sections, special sessions, and separate grading scales


23 posted on 09/01/2009 1:43:10 PM PDT by stan_sipple
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To: stan_sipple

The LSAT is basically an IQ test of sorts.

Very little to do with knowledge, just ability.


24 posted on 09/01/2009 1:53:07 PM PDT by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem.)
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To: Jewbacca

shhh dont tell anyone


25 posted on 09/01/2009 2:04:58 PM PDT by stan_sipple
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To: stan_sipple

I like to brag. I got a way high LSAT score -— and didn’t go to law school.

(But I did use the results to join MENSA.)


26 posted on 09/01/2009 3:58:56 PM PDT by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem.)
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To: bobjam

You can still do that in almost all states.


27 posted on 09/01/2009 6:08:45 PM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: Pessimist

My brother in law graduated with a degree in chemical engineering from one of the top Ivies, then went to law school after using his degree in the USMC. Different strokes and all that. It’s presumptuous to assume the transition is merely because of failure in one field.


28 posted on 09/01/2009 6:54:21 PM PDT by EDINVA (A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul -- G. B. Shaw)
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To: Jewbacca

MENSA

Mentally Exceptional, Not Socially Accomplished


29 posted on 09/01/2009 7:53:04 PM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: stan_sipple

Maybe that wouldn’t be the case if they actually taught the law in law school.


30 posted on 09/01/2009 7:54:48 PM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: SeaHawkFan

Probably true; I joined to put it on my resume.

I am Israeli by birth, we’re all socially inept without alcohol.

It’s why G-d commanded Purim.


31 posted on 09/02/2009 7:24:31 AM PDT by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem.)
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