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Law or Science

Lordknukle
Posts: 12,788
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4/13/2013 12:22:56 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'm torn between pursuing a bachelors degree in finance and then going into law, or going into science, preferably chemistry, and getting a Phd. On the one hand, law definitely pays betters. On the other hand, there are virtually no crucial productive forces coming from lawyers (talking about corporate law). On the other hand, the concept of low earnings in science can be compensated by the potentiality of inventions.

Is there anybody here in either one of those two fields that has some experience?
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
Andromeda_Z
Posts: 4,151
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4/13/2013 12:32:30 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'm planning on a PhD in Chemistry. I don't know anything for law, as I didn't care for a career in it, but there's something fundamentally wonderful about understanding the tiny little things that form everything we know. That's why I chose Chem. It had nothing to do with the money, though I'm the type that's happy with having food, a place to call home, and a public library. I'm just fascinated by science, so the choice was an obvious one for me.
Lordknukle
Posts: 12,788
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4/13/2013 12:44:26 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/13/2013 12:32:30 AM, Andromeda_Z wrote:
I'm planning on a PhD in Chemistry. I don't know anything for law, as I didn't care for a career in it, but there's something fundamentally wonderful about understanding the tiny little things that form everything we know. That's why I chose Chem. It had nothing to do with the money, though I'm the type that's happy with having food, a place to call home, and a public library. I'm just fascinated by science, so the choice was an obvious one for me.

Bachelors --> PhD or Bachelors---->Masters---->PhD? I've heard you can go both ways.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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4/13/2013 12:45:35 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
If you go into law, everyone will hate you.

If you go into science, everyone will look up to you.

Easy choice.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Andromeda_Z
Posts: 4,151
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4/13/2013 12:47:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/13/2013 12:44:26 AM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 4/13/2013 12:32:30 AM, Andromeda_Z wrote:
I'm planning on a PhD in Chemistry. I don't know anything for law, as I didn't care for a career in it, but there's something fundamentally wonderful about understanding the tiny little things that form everything we know. That's why I chose Chem. It had nothing to do with the money, though I'm the type that's happy with having food, a place to call home, and a public library. I'm just fascinated by science, so the choice was an obvious one for me.

Bachelors --> PhD or Bachelors---->Masters---->PhD? I've heard you can go both ways.

I'm not sure yet. I'll probably just go right to the PhD though, as that's my goal. I'm not sure what the idea is with having unnecessary intermediates, but there must be a reason for it, even if I don't know it yet. After I do that, I'm considering also studying Biology or Math, but those are secondary to Chem.
Cermank
Posts: 3,773
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4/13/2013 12:51:40 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I was talking to a law student the other day, I'll just copy paste his chat because I'm tired. It'll help you with perspective:

"well, it depends, to some it may be exciting, but then wen u see people getting involved in so much litigation and suffer, and you see the dark side of this justice system, u actually don't want to be involved into it, u rather want to do something to change it

and so u move away from it to something else, thinking of doing things that are far better than just harrasing people"
Thaddeus
Posts: 6,985
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4/13/2013 5:58:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/13/2013 12:44:26 AM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 4/13/2013 12:32:30 AM, Andromeda_Z wrote:
I'm planning on a PhD in Chemistry. I don't know anything for law, as I didn't care for a career in it, but there's something fundamentally wonderful about understanding the tiny little things that form everything we know. That's why I chose Chem. It had nothing to do with the money, though I'm the type that's happy with having food, a place to call home, and a public library. I'm just fascinated by science, so the choice was an obvious one for me.

Bachelors --> PhD or Bachelors---->Masters---->PhD? I've heard you can go both ways.

Firstly, nah, for the first option if you want to get a PhD in anything worthwhile - you'll need a masters.
Secondly; the question is weigh up how good you are at science with how much interest you have for the legal profession (you can't really know how good you'll be at it yet). Thirdly you'll probably get paid more following the science route. Very few lawyers actually get paid the massive salaries and there is a huge surplus of average to above average lawyers, so the odds aren't great of getting hired by a big firm. Don't use money as a reason.
YYW
Posts: 36,391
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4/13/2013 6:08:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/13/2013 5:58:55 PM, Thaddeus wrote:
At 4/13/2013 12:44:26 AM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 4/13/2013 12:32:30 AM, Andromeda_Z wrote:
I'm planning on a PhD in Chemistry. I don't know anything for law, as I didn't care for a career in it, but there's something fundamentally wonderful about understanding the tiny little things that form everything we know. That's why I chose Chem. It had nothing to do with the money, though I'm the type that's happy with having food, a place to call home, and a public library. I'm just fascinated by science, so the choice was an obvious one for me.

Bachelors --> PhD or Bachelors---->Masters---->PhD? I've heard you can go both ways.

Firstly, nah, for the first option if you want to get a PhD in anything worthwhile - you'll need a masters.

That varies by program, specialty and institution (not to mention, by country). So, while for some programs you are correct, for most programs, that is just not the case. However, in the process of pursuing a Ph.D. it is relatively easy to acquire additional masters degrees.

Secondly; the question is weigh up how good you are at science with how much interest you have for the legal profession (you can't really know how good you'll be at it yet).

In reality, he should just compare his GRE scores with LSAT scores after finishing undergrad. A chem/stat double major would be a good way to go, in either case.

Thirdly you'll probably get paid more following the science route.

That too depends on where he goes/how well he does once he is there. However, biotech/chemical engineering are both among the fastest growing job sectors in the world right now -which is something to consider.

Very few lawyers actually get paid the massive salaries and there is a huge surplus of average to above average lawyers, so the odds aren't great of getting hired by a big firm.

Agin, that totally depends on circumstance (largely whether he would go into the public v. private sector in law).

Don't use money as a reason.

This is indeed correct.
Tsar of DDO
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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4/13/2013 6:34:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I don't think that it is correct to assume there is a lot more money to be made in law than in science. While it is possible that you may become a famous trial lawyer and get rich, the odds are more against it than in the past. On the other hand, scientists are in high demand for biotechnology and and specialties related to energy. Even in areas like physics, life teaching and doing research is financially quite comfortable. Of course, the chances of becoming a well-to-do ornithologist or some other low-demand branch of science are not so good.

The average research scientist makes $77K http://www.indeed.com.... The average lawyer makes $86K http://www1.salary.com...

My advice is to do the thing you most enjoy doing. If you are talented at it, you'll do well enough financially.
YYW
Posts: 36,391
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4/16/2013 7:06:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
This is the most accurate, candid and forthright account of the Ph. D. process I have seen in a while. While it applies to political science (and that's the only area I'm qualified to opine on), I'm sure there are overlaps.

Should you get a Ph. D.? Read this first.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com...

I can say that the admissions process isn't really as hard as this makes it sound, and as long as your GRE scores aren't sh!t (as in, you score in the 75th percentile or better) and you managed to have at least three -good- professors think well of you, you'll likely at least get in to a state school. International and Ivy Leage Ph. D.'s are another matter.

The odds are not good that you'll finish a Ph. D. if you start it, but based on what I've seen -from the grad students I interact with- that likely has more to do with the degree to which people who are really good at appearing -bot not being- really awesome apply to doctoral programs.

I would also suggest that the sequester will be a thing of the past once the Democrats regain control of congress, and funding will be less of an issue -so there's that.
Tsar of DDO
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
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4/16/2013 7:12:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/13/2013 12:22:56 AM, Lordknukle wrote:
I'm torn between pursuing a bachelors degree in finance and then going into law, or going into science, preferably chemistry, and getting a Phd. On the one hand, law definitely pays betters. On the other hand, there are virtually no crucial productive forces coming from lawyers (talking about corporate law). On the other hand, the concept of low earnings in science can be compensated by the potentiality of inventions.

Is there anybody here in either one of those two fields that has some experience?

If you have an interest in both I would lean more towards science. Law school is not a walk in the park and there's a glut of lawyers as far as I know. It's also really, really long hours and you really need to be passionate about it.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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4/17/2013 5:03:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/13/2013 12:22:56 AM, Lordknukle wrote:
I'm torn between pursuing a bachelors degree in finance and then going into law, or going into science, preferably chemistry, and getting a Phd. On the one hand, law definitely pays betters. On the other hand, there are virtually no crucial productive forces coming from lawyers (talking about corporate law). On the other hand, the concept of low earnings in science can be compensated by the potentiality of inventions.

Is there anybody here in either one of those two fields that has some experience?

Actually, I believe that chemistry majors tend to do the best on LSAT, so you can do your bachelors in chemistry and then decide later if you want to go into Law School or go for a doctorate.

I was a chemical engineering major, so I had to take a few chemistry classes for it. In general, you have to be pretty good at math in chemistry. Although its not as extensive knowledge as Chemical Engineers need. You end up having to use calculus. Organic chemistry is partially based on how good you are at spatial reasoning (ex: rotating 3-d objects in your head).
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YYW
Posts: 36,391
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4/17/2013 6:13:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/17/2013 5:03:42 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 4/13/2013 12:22:56 AM, Lordknukle wrote:
I'm torn between pursuing a bachelors degree in finance and then going into law, or going into science, preferably chemistry, and getting a Phd. On the one hand, law definitely pays betters. On the other hand, there are virtually no crucial productive forces coming from lawyers (talking about corporate law). On the other hand, the concept of low earnings in science can be compensated by the potentiality of inventions.

Is there anybody here in either one of those two fields that has some experience?

Actually, I believe that chemistry majors tend to do the best on LSAT, so you can do your bachelors in chemistry and then decide later if you want to go into Law School or go for a doctorate.

Math type majors actually have historically scored the highest, but yeah.

I was a chemical engineering major, so I had to take a few chemistry classes for it. In general, you have to be pretty good at math in chemistry. Although its not as extensive knowledge as Chemical Engineers need. You end up having to use calculus. Organic chemistry is partially based on how good you are at spatial reasoning (ex: rotating 3-d objects in your head).
Tsar of DDO
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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4/17/2013 7:16:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/17/2013 6:13:53 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/17/2013 5:03:42 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 4/13/2013 12:22:56 AM, Lordknukle wrote:
I'm torn between pursuing a bachelors degree in finance and then going into law, or going into science, preferably chemistry, and getting a Phd. On the one hand, law definitely pays betters. On the other hand, there are virtually no crucial productive forces coming from lawyers (talking about corporate law). On the other hand, the concept of low earnings in science can be compensated by the potentiality of inventions.

Is there anybody here in either one of those two fields that has some experience?

Actually, I believe that chemistry majors tend to do the best on LSAT, so you can do your bachelors in chemistry and then decide later if you want to go into Law School or go for a doctorate.

Math type majors actually have historically scored the highest, but yeah.


Your probably right. What I meant though is that chemistry majors score better than most majors. They're somewhere in the top 6 best majors to choose for the LSAT and getting into law school.

I was a chemical engineering major, so I had to take a few chemistry classes for it. In general, you have to be pretty good at math in chemistry. Although its not as extensive knowledge as Chemical Engineers need. You end up having to use calculus. Organic chemistry is partially based on how good you are at spatial reasoning (ex: rotating 3-d objects in your head).
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OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
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4/17/2013 7:27:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/17/2013 7:16:10 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 4/17/2013 6:13:53 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/17/2013 5:03:42 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 4/13/2013 12:22:56 AM, Lordknukle wrote:
I'm torn between pursuing a bachelors degree in finance and then going into law, or going into science, preferably chemistry, and getting a Phd. On the one hand, law definitely pays betters. On the other hand, there are virtually no crucial productive forces coming from lawyers (talking about corporate law). On the other hand, the concept of low earnings in science can be compensated by the potentiality of inventions.

Is there anybody here in either one of those two fields that has some experience?

Actually, I believe that chemistry majors tend to do the best on LSAT, so you can do your bachelors in chemistry and then decide later if you want to go into Law School or go for a doctorate.

Math type majors actually have historically scored the highest, but yeah.


Your probably right. What I meant though is that chemistry majors score better than most majors. They're somewhere in the top 6 best majors to choose for the LSAT and getting into law school.

I was a chemical engineering major, so I had to take a few chemistry classes for it. In general, you have to be pretty good at math in chemistry. Although its not as extensive knowledge as Chemical Engineers need. You end up having to use calculus. Organic chemistry is partially based on how good you are at spatial reasoning (ex: rotating 3-d objects in your head).

If you want to do law I'd actually go philosophy assuming you're not a math whiz. In my experience chem majors are just naturally smart and hard-working, but it's something like philosophy that will hone your mind for the kinds of questions they'll ask on the LSAT.