Which is harder to get into law school or medical school?

Which is harder to get into, law school or medical school?


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AStudent

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I said medical school, but I can't prove it.......anyone?
 

wendywellesley

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i saw law. atleast you have a chance to charm them at your interview. you don't even got a shot at that trying to get into law school. then again, the class size is much bigger but more applicants. but there are many low-tier law schools that are probably easier to get into than the low-tier med schools. maybe med school is harder....
 

superdevil

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indo

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it is harder to live with yourself after becoming a lawyer.
 

Without Wax

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I am sure there are those crazy eager beavers who have both JD and MD.

or may be you should try?
 

sbadal2007

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actually I dont think the forum is biased, partly due to the fact that there are so many more variables involved with medical school.

i.e. Courses taken, GPA in those SPECIFIC courses, competitive test scores, letters of rec EC's that are often more in depth.

For law school, as long as you have a high GPA- even in the coloring book major and a solid 163/180 LSAT, higher is definitely much more attainable than a near perfect score on the mcat. Youre pretty much in a top 15 school.

I know some may argue sayin that no interview makes it harder, but are you sure. I mean I could be utterly incapable of stringing together a sentence and still get into law school, however, med school that would negatively affect my chances at admission..

ok i guess i am biased, and just for good measure I'll still be takin the LSAT
 

45408

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law school screens during your post-grad years - med school screens before you even get in. The end result isn't too far apart (becoming a rich, successful lawyer is quite difficult), but the initial bar isn't set as high for law school.
 

PhotoMD

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Med school admission is harder, and I'm sure I'm rehashing previous threads, but here goes:

(1) Sheer numbers: There are more law schools by a long shot (not sure on exact numbers, but pretty sure > 400 vs. ~120 medical schools). Thus more students are admitted, and most schools have higher admission rates. 50% of medical school applicants do not get admitted *anywhere*.

(2) Interviews: Law schools only have "paper" apps. You don't have to interview, and so the cost is less and law applicants can pepper their applications to more places because it is less expensive.

(3) The LSAT is an intelligence test while the MCAT is a knowledge test. Thus, studying for the MCAT is probably a more difficult endeavor.

There are other reasons I didn't think of off the bat. I'm sure admission to Harvard Law is as difficult as Harvard Med in that both admit the top N students in the US in their respective field, but I'm not sure that in that case "difficulty" is quantifiable. If difficulty is the number of applicants admitted divided by the total number of applicants nationwide, then medical school is more difficult.
 

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sbadal2007 said:
For law school, as long as you have a high GPA- even in the coloring book major and a solid 163/180 LSAT, higher is definitely much more attainable than a near perfect score on the mcat. Youre pretty much in a top 15 school.
I could have majored in coloring books? Bummer, I missed that one.

Actually top 15 is hard in either field -- there is no "pretty much in". But as prior posters have indicated, there are more law schools and they have bigger classes, so a much larger percentage of people get in "somewhere". And as another prior poster aptly indicated, while med schools have a role in limiting the number of people getting into the profession and thereby only can have a set number of seats, law schools don't have these limitations -- that job is left for the states which limit the number of lawyers by setting bar exam pass rates. Thus while most people who finish med school will get to practice medicine immediately upon completion of school, as much as a third of a state's JD's will not pass the bar and cannot then practice until they retake and pass (at best, half a year later, sometimes never).
 

rpkall

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When you graduate from med school, you are pretty much a doctor no matter where you fall in the class or which institution you attended (with few exceptions) and have a pretty decent chance of practicing clinical medicine one day in one of the top three specialties of your choice (again, with a few exceptions; derm, path, rads, radonc, etc, if you barely pass).

I am fairly sure that law school is not set up the same way. If you want to do something even remotely competitive, you have to go to a decent school, get decent grades, get on "law review" or some such (the honor roll for law students, or some such thing), and jockey for interesting internships and summer opportunities (none of which are guaranteed). Then when you get out, you have to pass the bar, find a firm in the area you want to be, and work 80+ hrs a week for like 3 years to work towards junior partner/partner status at the firm (kinda like a residency in the actual commercial practice or trial division of law).

So, on paper, it is probably not any easier to be a successful lawyer than it is to be a good physician. Being a physician requires the emotional maturity and dedication to deal with people who are sick and dying, and to shoulder the responsibility of making decisions that impact people's life/death on a daily basis. Some lawyers never touch that level of responsibility. Some do (prosecutors and defense attorneys in serious criminal and/or family/domestic abuse cases, or lawyers responsible for setting important legal precedent that may impact the state/federal laws).

On the question of getting into the graduate schools themselves, obviously it takes better grades and more focused pursuit of science (which by its nature is more difficult to do well in at college than most other majors/study tracks for most intelligent people). Additionally, you can have any major and any study focus at college and up and decide to go study law.

One kid I know majored in psychology with a music minor, and got mediocre grades and is in law school now. I don't even think he did very well on the LSAT, either.

I think the issue is that it is cheap to admit students to a certain law school, put them in large lecture style classes on "contracts" and stuff, tell them to study in large libraries where they have lots of huge, old books, steal their tuition money, and dump them into a field where there are too many graduates and not enough quality opportunities for all of them.

I wonder what prompts someone to ask this question on a bulletin board like this, though. The systems are the way they are, for better or worse. In this case, I'm pretty sure it is harder to get into med school than law school, and that's that. Whether we're biased or not, that's the way it is. ;)

What's next?

large animal vet school vs. PhD in horses and cows!
 
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brucecat

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My wife is a lawyer, and she will tell you that it is much more difficult to get into med school, and the process itself is much tougher. There are many people on this board who will not get into top med schools, but could definitely go to a top 5 law school. It depends on the person though, and how well they can handle the LSAT. But with the premed science backround, getting into law school would be no problem for many med school applicants.
 

fun8stuff

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The thing with law school is that there is a broader range in quality and competitivness. Most medical schools are tough to get into and are of pretty high quality, whereas if you want to get into law school- there are a good number of them that do not have that high of standards. Just look at the average GPAs of students admitted into both fields...
 

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rpkall said:
I am fairly sure that law school is not set up the same way. If you want to do something even remotely competitive, you have to go to a decent school, get decent grades, get on "law review" or some such (the honor roll for law students, or some such thing), and jockey for interesting internships and summer opportunities (none of which are guaranteed). Then when you get out, you have to pass the bar, find a firm in the area you want to be, and work 80+ hrs a week for like 3 years to work towards junior partner/partner status at the firm (kinda like a residency in the actual commercial practice or trial division of law).
I pretty much agree with the above post. However just to correct one inaccuracy, no one in law is making partner (junior or otherwise) in three years (unless they start up their own business). In the bigger firms/cities it is currently closer to ten years before partnership consideration.
 

Vomitonme

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Law school is definitely easier to get into. Basically if you want to become a lawyer, there is a law school in the U.S. that will accept you. As we all know, the same is not true for medical school.

I think there's a law school, (Cooley?) that essentially has open admission so for the first two years, they have an insanely huge class but they usually do try to actively fail people to reduce the class size, or so I've heard.

But law school in general is very numbers based which I feel makes it easier. Everything is in your hands basically and if you get great grades/LSAT scores, you'll more then likely get into a good school. In medical school admissions, there are a lot of variables all the way upto the interview. I mean, your chances at getting into a school could be nothing just because you didn't click with your interviewer or something. I mean, looking at mdapplicants, how many people with 35+ scores get rejected from certain top ranked schools for probably arbitrary reasons even though they have excellent credentials.
 

Geronimo

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My wife went to Law School and she would tell you that it is a totally different world getting into law school. She can't believe the crap I've had to go through with primary and secondary applications, interviews, follow ups, etc...
 

medic170

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Is this thread really serious? While there might be a comparison with some of the good law schools, it is a fact that ANYBODY can go to law school. There are a plethera of lower tier law schools with VERY lax admission criteria. That is why there is such an overpopulation of lawyers. I looked into law before medicine, and I even took the LSAT.

Right here in Lansing there is a law school that basically anyone with a college degree can get into. They have an LSAT average of 139(that would be like a 17-19 MCAT) and a GPA average of like 2.8.

The same is not true even for the lowest tier U.S medical schools.
 
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NEATOMD

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I voted med schools using my vast experience with applying to law schools and even more so with Medical schools...
Wait, I've never applied to any law schools, nevermind.

I did find that most traditional pre-law classes were a breeze compared to premed classes.

I'm just glad the MCAT doesn't have a whole section devoted to tricky little mind games like the LSAT does. Still, some might argue that the whole MCAT is a tricky little mind game, but I don't think its really the same kind of tricks.
 
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Having been business/pre-law and then deciding to go back to school for dentistry I can tell you right now there is no comparison and this is a stupid question to even ask. First off, the 4 credit science pre-reqs (throw in the upper level sciences as well for chem or bio majors) are incredibly more demanding courses than anything else you would be taking in college before law school. I breezed through undergrad with a 3.6 and didn't have many nights that ended without some form of partying. Try doing that while taking 3-4 sciences a semester with labs. Additionally, I can affirm the previous comments that there are more law schools compared to medical schools and no interviews to worry about. Finally, I know there are some brilliant lawyers out there- some of my high school friends who are much smarter than I decided to go into law school (lord knows why, but that is another discussion). However, I have also met some people who are head-scratching incompetent boobs who graduated law and passed the bar. It is not that difficult to get into a law school in this country, period. And this is the reason the bubble is about to burst. We have more lawyers graduating than we have jobs for them.

Medicine/Dentistry/Vet you need a strong college resume with at least a 3.5 in science GPA, tons of shadowing hours, a longer and more rigorous entry exam, and a much more competitive applicant pool. And I can say with certainty that law school on the whole is easier than medical school based on my observations alone. My law school friends had time to party on the weekends to "blow off stress". I knew one that would make trips from Rochester to Buffalo every couple days to see her boyfriend. Ain't nobody got time for dat! Medical and Dental students have to literally study every waking hour as the course load is preposterous!
 

pyrrion89

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Law school admissions are nearly 100% dependent on the LSAT, which is not a particularly hard test.
I took the LSAT and couldn't breach 160 (80th percentile). I got a 37 on the MCAT though (98-99 percentile). I suppose it depends on the person. I heard the LSAT is much more of an IQ test, so I guess I'm just dumb. :laugh:
 
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Aerus

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I took the LSAT and couldn't breach 160 (80th percentile). I got a 37 on the MCAT though (98-99 percentile). I suppose it depends on the person. I heard the LSAT is much more of an IQ test, so I guess I'm just dumb. :laugh:
I don't really meet many pre-laws who spent or plan to spend 500+ hours studying for the LSAT, though. =P
 

WaterIsGood

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There really is no comparison. It's much easier to attain a JD than a MD/DO. As long as your brain is in tact, you can get in somewhere. The same can't be said for medical schools. And Im referring to just US medical schools.
 

BurberryDoc

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Not to disparage out pre-law and law student counterparts, but I went to a big university laden with pre-law and pre-med students. Most of my friends who were pre-law went directly to law school (in fact, I can think of only one friend that was pre-law who did not get accepted on the first try) but less than half of my friends that were pre-med were accepted directly from undergrad.


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Law2Doc

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Not sure why this thread was brought back to life. The top law schools are tough to get into. Harder than some med schools, for sure. But there are tons of law schools and tons of seats per law school class, so if you want to go to "a" law school you can. Heck, inmates can do law school as a correspondence course in some jurisdictions. The difference is that med school is the gate keeper of the profession -- once you get in, its rare to fail out. in law, the bar is the gatekeeper -- lots of people go to law school but never get to practice law. In some states a third will fail the bar. So you aren't comparing the same thing. Yes anyone with a C averag can probably find a law school, but that doesn't mean they will ever end up a practicing lawyer.
 
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I said medical school, but I can't prove it.......anyone?
In terms of schools generally, it is far more difficult to get into the average U.S. medical school than it is the average law school based on GPA/LSAT (the latter is the standardized test for admission to law school). If you look at the top 10 law schools, then the GPAs are closer to what one would expect for a U.S. medical school, and at the very top (Harvard, Stanford, Yale, etc.), the GPAs would be competitive at top U.S. medical schools.
 
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just a hunch, but i think this forum is biased. ;)
I seriously contemplated going to law school with an interest in general policy (to include health policy), so I don't think there is any bias on my part. I decided against this. The legal job market is in a state of disarray and even the top firms are laying off lawyers in large numbers (sometimes including partners). I don't think law school is a viable option for most in this job market. It makes little sense to me to go into $120+k in debt, when some lawyers only make $70k or less. The averages that you see reported for salaries are inflated because they include the large salaries at corporate law firms, but those positions are drying up and as I said, there were large layoffs in recent years.
 
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actually I dont think the forum is biased, partly due to the fact that there are so many more variables involved with medical school.

i.e. Courses taken, GPA in those SPECIFIC courses, competitive test scores, letters of rec EC's that are often more in depth.

For law school, as long as you have a high GPA- even in the coloring book major and a solid 163/180 LSAT, higher is definitely much more attainable than a near perfect score on the mcat. Youre pretty much in a top 15 school.

I know some may argue sayin that no interview makes it harder, but are you sure. I mean I could be utterly incapable of stringing together a sentence and still get into law school, however, med school that would negatively affect my chances at admission..

ok i guess i am biased, and just for good measure I'll still be takin the LSAT
A 163 score on the LSAT is medicare and while some may get into a top 15 school (like some medicare premeds will get into a top 15 medical school - it happens statistically every year), I think you are distorting the numbers. Also, there are law schools that include interview components. Harvard comes to mind.
 

Reckoner

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A 163 score on the LSAT is medicare and while some may get into a top 15 school (like some medicare premeds will get into a top 15 medical school - it happens statistically every year), I think you are distorting the numbers. Also, there are law schools that include interview components. Harvard comes to mind.
He distorted those numbers almost nine years ago. I think we can let it slide in 2014.
 

Sassafrass23

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I've heard it said before (perhaps on SDN) that the bottlenecks for becoming doctors and lawyers are just in different places. It's much easier to get into law school but difficult to get a job. Conversely, it's much harder to get into med school but once you're in, the amount of med students that don't finish med school or match to a residency is very small.
 

nabilesmail

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Having a top gpa and top mcat doesnt guarantee crap let alone a top med school

Having a top gpa and top lsat guarantees a top law school easy
 
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wiloghby

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A 163 score on the LSAT is medicare and while some may get into a top 15 school (like some medicare premeds will get into a top 15 medical school - it happens statistically every year), I think you are distorting the numbers. Also, there are law schools that include interview components. Harvard comes to mind.
What's a MediCare premed?
 
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wiloghby

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A 163 score on the LSAT is medicare and while some may get into a top 15 school (like some medicare premeds will get into a top 15 medical school - it happens statistically every year), I think you are distorting the numbers. Also, there are law schools that include interview components. Harvard comes to mind.
Wait.. I think I got it now. nevermind.
 

Apollo1

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A 163 score on the LSAT is medicare
87th percentile, according to year 2013. Is that number mediocre? /rhetorical

Use your brain and see what your replying to next time.
 
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Medstart108

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Med school admission is harder, and I'm sure I'm rehashing previous threads, but here goes:

(1) Sheer numbers: There are more law schools by a long shot (not sure on exact numbers, but pretty sure > 400 vs. ~120 medical schools). Thus more students are admitted, and most schools have higher admission rates. 50% of medical school applicants do not get admitted *anywhere*.

(2) Interviews: Law schools only have "paper" apps. You don't have to interview, and so the cost is less and law applicants can pepper their applications to more places because it is less expensive.

(3) The LSAT is an intelligence test while the MCAT is a knowledge test. Thus, studying for the MCAT is probably a more difficult endeavor.

There are other reasons I didn't think of off the bat. I'm sure admission to Harvard Law is as difficult as Harvard Med in that both admit the top N students in the US in their respective field, but I'm not sure that in that case "difficulty" is quantifiable. If difficulty is the number of applicants admitted divided by the total number of applicants nationwide, then medical school is more difficult.
Actually i believe Harvard Med is more difficult than Harvard Law since Harvard Med accepts 1/3rd the number of people that Harvard Law accepts.
 

circulus vitios

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87th percentile, according to year 2013. Is that number mediocre? /rhetorical

Use your brain and see what your replying to next time.
Yes, a 163 is mediocre, even below average at decent law schools. It's the same way the 50th percentile MCAT score is like a 25 but the 50th percentile matriculant MCAT score is like a 31.
 
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metview

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Is this even a serious question? Getting into law school is 10x easier to get into than med school. Lower tier medical schools have much lower acceptance rates than all top 10 law schools. There are no pre-reqs for law school so you can take all easy courses, and there are no interviews (no point because you don't have to be ethical to be a lawyer). Getting into a top law school is even easier than getting into a top undergraduate school. Furthermore, law schools accept more than double than medical schools what do even though they both receive the same # of apps.
 
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Getting into law school is very easy, but finding a decent job once you graduate is really, really tough. The quality of life for attorneys is terrible because you are 100% expendible and replaceable.

Going into medicine at this point may be a gamble, due to the ominous structural changes and long lead time before you'll be a practicing, but going to law school at this point is an unmitigated disaster.

A must-read for anyone thinking about law school: http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/
 

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Any US med school is tough to get into, the same can't be said for law school. But, the top 10 law schools are equally as difficult to get into as the top 10 med schools. However, after this law schools drop off in competition. I.e. if you wanna be a lawyer and have a 3.0 GPA and garbage lsat you can get into SOME law school, but the same can't be said for the same person getting into med school--they wouldn't get in anywhere. The floor for law schools is much lower than med schools.