Doctor Bagel

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i recently finished a law degree and am now thinking that i should have gone to medical school instead. am i totally screwed because i have a j.d.? i've heard from other (probably not that reliable) sources that med schools will view you as a flake if you have a law degree and want to apply. does anybody have any experience with this or inside knowledge? i went to a good law school and did well (top 15 school with honors), so it would be discouraging to think that i'm totally screwed because i made a bad choice when i was 22.
 

tBw

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Originally posted by exlawgrrl
i recently finished a law degree and am now thinking that i should have gone to medical school instead. am i totally screwed because i have a j.d.? i've heard from other (probably not that reliable) sources that med schools will view you as a flake if you have a law degree and want to apply. does anybody have any experience with this or inside knowledge? i went to a good law school and did well (top 15 school with honors), so it would be discouraging to think that i'm totally screwed because i made a bad choice when i was 22.
don't worry this isn't a med school anomaly - everyone hates j.d's

;)
 

tBw

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on a more serious note, no medical schools don't hate J.D.s per se. What they might be concerned about however is worrying that this is evidence that you are unable to committ to something and follow through, or are incapable of knowing yourself very well (ie why should they believe that your decision to pursue medicine is not just another 'professional school mistake') or that you are someone that prefers to forever remain a student rather than growing up and getting a job. I'm not saying that any of these things are true about you, just that you should have some fairly convincing reasons prepared to convince med schools that your decision is well founded.
 
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Camden772

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I am also someone who went to law school, and even practiced law for three years, and I am now applying to medical school. I think it can help you in some respects and hurt you in others. You have to demonstrate to adcomms that you are serious about medicine and that you have put a lot of time and effort into your decision. People told me my biggest problem will be explaining to adcomms why I gave up on medicine seven years ago. My situation may be different from yours in that I was pre-med in college, applied to medical school (20 med schools to be exact), failed to get in, and for reasons I've mentioned on other posts, I would up going to law school instead. Big mistake on my part!

Having a J.D. will set you apart from other applicants, and that can be good. I feel that I have a very interesting and attention grabbing personal statement because of my experiences (although most of these experiences relate to practicing law, i.e. working with the indigent etc., rather than law school itself). The most important thing is that you show them that you know what you're getting into and that you can explain why it took you so long to make this decision. You must have some clinical experience, or adcomms will question whether you are truly dedicated and have a real understanding of what you're getting into.

In summary, I've been told that it will work against me in some respects, and it will work for me in others. Med schools might be concerned you're a "flake" for taking so long, and moving from a completely unrelated field into medicine. So, you have to take steps to show them you are certain of what you are doing and truly dedicated to medicine.
 

Camden772

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Originally posted by the boy wonder
don't worry this isn't a med school anomaly - everyone hates j.d's

;)
True enough! I'm a J.D., and sometimes I think I hate J.D.s:laugh:

BTW, exlawgrrl, I sent you a PM!!
 

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UMichigan's Class Profile last year had quite a handful of J.D.'s (5 to 7 if I remember correctly)...

so don't sweat it. just tie in how your law degree will make you a better physician. g'luck.
 

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Originally posted by Joe Joe on da Radio
UMichigan's Class Profile last year had quite a handful of J.D.'s (5 to 7 if I remember correctly)...

so don't sweat it. just tie in how your law degree will make you a better physician. g'luck.
In fact...one of my friends was considering doing an MD/JD at Michigan, because they asked him if he was interested. Slightly different topic...but related...

-RA
 

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I wouldn't say med schools automatically dislike JD's especially considering that schools like Case and Pittsburgh offer dual MD/JD programs. One of our local ER docs is an MD/JD and I swear he's that smartest man alive.
 

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Hello Exlawgrrl,

I don't think it will hurt you AT ALL. In fact, if you have a good enough reason, it will only help.

As someone else said about U. of Mich, med schools certainly accept lawyers.

In fact, at Temple, during our first day of Orientation, the Dean was addressing the class and gave a quick review of some of the unique and varied experiences of our incoming class. When he mentioned that one of the students was the former DA for LA County, everyone gasped! It was the only description that got a reaction out of the audience. And the Dean obviously looked favorably on this student's experience, or he wouldn't have mentioned it. ;) And it could very well be that if this student had applied to Temple ten years ago without any law experience, that they would NOT have been accepted (I'm just speculating because I know nothing about their MCAT or GPA scores, but I think you get the idea....experience is only a positive if you can explain your career switch).

Again, if you explain your circumstances, you'll be fine! Good luck!! :cool:

Originally posted by exlawgrrl
i recently finished a law degree and am now thinking that i should have gone to medical school instead. am i totally screwed because i have a j.d.? i've heard from other (probably not that reliable) sources that med schools will view you as a flake if you have a law degree and want to apply. does anybody have any experience with this or inside knowledge? i went to a good law school and did well (top 15 school with honors), so it would be discouraging to think that i'm totally screwed because i made a bad choice when i was 22.
 

tBw

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Originally posted by Caerulea
one of the students was the former DA for LA County, everyone gasped! It was the only description that got a reaction out of the audience. And the Dean obviously looked favorably on this student's experience, or he wouldn't have mentioned it.
However, this doesn't necessarily relate to the situation of the original poster. I think someone who has gone out and worked in another career and then decides to give it up and come back to school to do medicine after several years experience is much different than someone who has just finished their law degree and wants to immediately return to do medical school. While both *may* be valid, different questions about the applicant arise. My earlier posts outlines what I think will be the negative questions that might occur for someone in the latter case.
 

Caerulea

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Originally posted by the boy wonder
However, this doesn't necessarily relate to the situation of the original poster. I think someone who has gone out and worked in another career and then decides to give it up and come back to school to do medicine after several years experience is much different than someone who has just finished their law degree and wants to immediately return to do medical school. While both *may* be valid, different questions about the applicant arise. My earlier posts outlines what I think will be the negative questions that might occur for someone in the latter case.
I took her statement that she recently finished a law degree to mean recently as in within a couple of years and had some experience also.

Ooops. Did I think wrong? I'm sorry exlawgrrl....I've been staying up 'til 4AM for the past couple of nights studying for exams and my brain is fried! :D

If I misread your post, my apologies...
 

tBw

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Originally posted by Caerulea
I took her statement that she recently finished a law degree to mean recently as in within a couple of years and had some experience also.

Ooops. Did I think wrong? I'm sorry exlawgrrl....I've been staying up 'til 4AM for the past couple of nights studying for exams and my brain is fried! :D

If I misread your post, my apologies...

hmmm, could just as easily be me that misread it....who knows! Maybe if you can give us some more details exlawgrrl we can be more precise - after all there are big differences between studying and practicing law, between law for indigent and corporate law, or if you have been doing volunteer work in the community since age 11 or if you have never seen the inside of a hospital....and we don't know enough to be more helpful (or maybe it's just me! )
 

Camden772

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Originally posted by Caerulea

In fact, at Temple, during our first day of Orientation, the Dean was addressing the class and gave a quick review of some of the unique and varied experiences of our incoming class. When he mentioned that one of the students was the former DA for LA County, everyone gasped! It was the only description that got a reaction out of the audience. And the Dean obviously looked favorably on this student's experience, or he wouldn't have mentioned it.
Caerulea,

Just when you had talked me in to adding Temple to my AMCAS list, I hear that you guys already have an ex-assistant DA. Surely, the dean doesn't want two! Oh well, maybe he wants to make the same speech next year.


exlawgrrl,

Boy Wonder is right. It all depends on the details. If you haven't taken any of the pre-reqs yet and you don't have any clinical experience I would start with that. You may also want to find a law job that gives you the time to do that and shows that you want to help others, e.g. work for some type of legal aid clinic part time.
 
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Doctor Bagel

Doctor Bagel

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so, it's not as such that i'm a career changer because i haven't established a legal career. i can certainly understand why that would make it more difficult, especially in making me look like a professional student, which i fear becoming. hmm, thanks for all the replies--i can't really do anything now, so i'm totally in the brainstorming stage.
 

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Hi exlawgrrl,

I just replied to the PM that you sent me. ;)


Originally posted by Camden772
Caerulea,

Just when you had talked me in to adding Temple to my AMCAS list, I hear that you guys already have an ex-assistant DA. Surely, the dean doesn't want two! Oh well, maybe he wants to make the same speech next year.
Camden,

LOL! I didn't know that you were specifically an assistant DA.

Well, maybe accepting assistant DA's could become a trend at Temple MED. :laugh:
 
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