Advice for Incoming Undergraduates

by Joshua Tucker on September 5, 2012 · 9 comments

in Academia,Frivolity

Courtesy of Seth Masket:

1) You do not need to be a poli sci major to go to law school.
2) You do not need to go to law school if you’re a poli sci major.
3) You do not need to go to law school.

{ 9 comments }

Phillip Black September 5, 2012 at 7:12 pm

But you do if you want a job.

RobW September 5, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Yeah….not so much.

TDC September 5, 2012 at 8:42 pm

*coughs, looks at job prospects after taking the bar next summer*

PoliSciGrad September 5, 2012 at 9:12 pm

And if you’re actually exceptionally bright and not just one of the masses that takes Poli Sci because it’s seen as an easy major, but you actually care passionately about public policy, try to look at a different major so you’re respected when you try to get into public policy. Everyone seems to assume that a Biology or Chemistry major can easily figure out Congressional procedure or other aspects of government, but the idea that a Political Science major may actually understand something from the hard sciences is beyond most it seems.

Andrew Gelman September 5, 2012 at 11:28 pm

I guess I’m missing out by not teaching undergraduate poli sci courses. Do the poli sci majors really mostly go to law school? That seems kinda weird. I had no idea that people still went to law school. Don’t they all go to business school now?

Elizabeth Rigby September 6, 2012 at 12:28 am

I LOVE this. One of the great perks of moving from a political science department to a public policy school is that I don’t have to write all those law school recommendation letters each fall.

Dick Winters September 6, 2012 at 8:55 am

Or, just show them this three page review of the changing salary distributions of new lawyers at http://www.nalp.org/uploads/0812Research.pdf

Joey September 7, 2012 at 9:04 am

That salary distribution which shows a median _starting_ salary of 60k and almost 15% making 160 right out of law school? Yeah, that’ll put them off.

Darren Schreiber September 7, 2012 at 10:54 am

Forward this little video gem to any wannabe law students. I’ve been giving the “don’t go to law school” spiel forever, but hearing the stats here scared even me. Starts out with “only 1/3 of 2011 law grads had a real legal job within 9 months of graduation” and then goes downhill from there. Imagine how the NALP median would drop if those unemployed were included in the study.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1NDrtV9e6w

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