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Cyruszzz

engineering major for law school

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I"m considering law for my career and I'm choosing my major right now.

So I've been accepted to all programs I've applied :

electrical engineering McGill

Computer science UofT and Waterloo

Political science McGill

Economics McGill

and Poliscience and Economics at concordia 

Eventhough I'm good at maths and physics I'm wondering if I can get good GPA for law school if I go into engineering.Or majors like Economics and polisience are easier to get a good GPA?

I don't want to get into IP but just wondering if I could get a good GPA in engineering with the same amount of work compared to political science or Economics.

thank you.

 

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Re-arrange your priorities. Choose something that you enjoy that challenges you. 

The “easy” path isn’t going to prepare you for anything but a life of trying to access shortcuts. You will hit a wall sooner rather than later. Instead, do what you actually want to do and aim higher for yourself. 

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Posted (edited)

Right now, I would focus on what you would find more interesting rather than what you think will get you the best GPA. There are people that get into law school from an engineering background, so even if you do decide to major in engineering, it won't necessarily doom your law school chances.

For reference, I am doing a "hard" STEM major in university and would not have done it any other way. Because of my coursework, I did a bunch of cool things and gained interesting work experience that would not have been available had I pursued a different degree. Law school was not a goal of mine when I started university and I don't think this was a disadvantage. In fact, not stressing about law school applications allowed me to pursue some of the quirky things that I mentioned and earnestly commit to them. Sure, law school became a goal later on and I'm glad that I had the GPA needed to get in (but in all honestly, law school or not, you should still try your best in your studies), but I still think you should not try to "optimize your law school chances" by shutting yourself off from other potentially cool opportunities out there. That would be a lame way to spend 4 years of undergrad. What do you find interesting? Do that. 

Also, some degrees are easier to find jobs with than others if law school doesn't work out. Might be something you want to consider.

Edit: I remember being a high school senior and thinking that it was a good thing that I did not choose to major in engineering because it would be ridiculously hard and that I would spend too many late nights cramming for exams (I also hated physics but that's beside the point). Little did I know that regardless of my decision, I would still think that the material for many of my courses would be challenging and that the late nights would be happening anyways. So yeah, focus on other things.

Edit #2: Also, there are several law schools which look at your last two years or drop your worst courses. I'm assuming you are interested in engineering (because you said you are good at math) but afraid that your GPA will take a hit. As such, it might help alleviate some stress knowing that you technically can major in engineering (to find out how it's like) during first year, get "bad" grades and/or find out it's not for you,  transfer to a different program, and still be potentially competitive for law school given how several of them calculate admission GPA.

Edited by Twenty

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33 minutes ago, Cyruszzz said:

I"m considering law for my career and I'm choosing my major right now.

So I've been accepted to all programs I've applied :

electrical engineering McGill

Computer science UofT and Waterloo

Political science McGill

Economics McGill

and Poliscience and Economics at concordia 

Eventhough I'm good at maths and physics I'm wondering if I can get good GPA for law school if I go into engineering.Or majors like Economics and polisience are easier to get a good GPA?

I don't want to get into IP but just wondering if I could get a good GPA in engineering with the same amount of work compared to political science or Economics.

thank you.

 

I don't know if economics and poli sci are "easier" to get a good GPA in. Economics, poli sci and engineering all require a different skill set. If math and physics are your strengths, you might find engineering the easiest. Also, regarding the amount of work, engineering is a professional program that prepares you for a career whereas economics and poli sci are more abstract, theoretical courses that may lead in multiple directions.

Take whatever will challenge you that you will enjoy, and work as hard as you can. 

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Posted (edited)

Like others have stated, you shouldn't base your decision on getting into law school. Find what you're passionate about and something that intellectually stimulates and challenges you. Your bachelor's degree should be a transformative experience. You are exposed to so many different ideas and schools of thought; coming from high school, it was an intellectual orgasm. 

My most memorable class was the one I got a B- in. It was in Sociology and totally out of my comfort zone but every class blew my mind. Even in hindsight, I would do it again.

To pick the path of least resistance would be to shortchange your university experience.

Edited by Aschenbach

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I ended up picking my major in undergrad based on wanting to go to law school. It worked out. Pretty well.

 

But, it likely would have worked out had I taken the majors that interested me more. Funny enough I took electives in that field and ended up getting my best grades in undergrad in all those classes. Turns out you do better when you care.

Pick what interests you. Forget about law for now. Huge amount of interesting things out there outside of law, including all of the things you mentioned. Go explore :). Now is the time, while you still have the youth and energy for passionate study.

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You aren't considering law as a career, you are choosing an undergraduate major. Law school doesn't need to be planned in advance, do well in university and do well on the LSAT. 

But the whole premise of the thread that one major is easier than another is silly in this context for a few reasons.

First, schools are under a tremendous amount of pressure to have approximately the same grading distribution between different majors. If they don't then schools who have lower averages, in things like engineering, will not place as many students in graduate programs of various sorts or place as well in the employment market hurting their students and ultimately the school. The result is that basically, every college class is effectively bell-curved. 

Second, the students in law school tend to be high achievers and to do well in legal practice means out competing these students. Trying to find an "easy" program hamstrings you by limiting your development during university. It also increases the likelihood of getting into law school but struggling while there. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Cyruszzz said:

I"m considering law for my career and I'm choosing my major right now.

So I've been accepted to all programs I've applied :

electrical engineering McGill

Computer science UofT and Waterloo

Political science McGill

Economics McGill

and Poliscience and Economics at concordia 

Eventhough I'm good at maths and physics I'm wondering if I can get good GPA for law school if I go into engineering.Or majors like Economics and polisience are easier to get a good GPA?

I don't want to get into IP but just wondering if I could get a good GPA in engineering with the same amount of work compared to political science or Economics.

thank you.

 

I'll give you a different response than what you've received here. Accept computer science at U of T or Waterloo, maybe electrical engineering at McGill, even if it means you, in the worst possible scenario, don't get into law school. 

People graduating from computer science programs today in their low 20s are making lawyer salaries, higher if they land Silicon Valley jobs. Being a lawyer is not as glamorized as you may think it is, and the market is in a bad shape right now and only going to get worse. The articling crisis is real and Canadian law school graduates are struggling to find articling and Associate positions. Don't be foolish enough to turn down a comp sci golden ticket for the off-chance that you MAY go to law school and MAY land a Bay Street job, or a legal job that you actually enjoy doing. 

Political science and economics degrees are fairly useless without further schooling, and there is no guarantee that you'll go to law school, and even if you do go to law school, no guarantee that you'll get a legal job that you like or one that pays above average/extremely well. 

https://www.zsa.ca/salary-guide/

If money is your goal, compare this chart to potential salaries you may be making as a 25-year-old computer science graduate from U of T or Waterloo, or electrical engineering graduate from McGill. You'll be doing yourself a huge disservice by turning those programs down. Law is not a good path anymore to most people, and I frequently advise this to prospective high school and university students when they ask me about pursuing law school and the alternative career paths available to them. I have friends who were in your exact same boat that decided to stick with business, computer science, and engineering, and they're very happy with their decisions working at places like Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, management consulting, investment banking, private equity, major 5 banks, IBM, Shopify, etc. You will have a lot more options available to you if you pursue computer science or electrical engineering. 

Now a lot of this is actually moot if your lifelong dream is to be a lawyer and you actually have realistic expectations of what lawyer salaries and the day to day job of a lawyer will look like.

If law doesn't pan out the way you hope it will 5-10 years down the line, will you have any regrets for having turned down U of T/Waterloo's computer science programs or McGill engineering? I can tell you that 90% of people I know who made this decision to instead pursue BSc degrees hoping to get into medical school regret it deeply, and I've also seen this first-hand from my close friends circle. It's been close to a decade since most of them came out of high school, and the regrets of having turned down computer science, engineering, and business programs to pursue life science and health science degrees is still there among many of my friends. Medical school didn't pan out the way they'd hoped even though they thought at the time it was the smarter choice to turn down coveted engineering, computer science, and business schools for a general science degree. 

Edited by Deadpool
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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Cyruszzz said:

I"m considering law for my career and I'm choosing my major right now.

So I've been accepted to all programs I've applied :

electrical engineering McGill 

Computer science UofT and Waterloo

Political science McGill

Economics McGill

and Poliscience and Economics at concordia 

Eventhough I'm good at maths and physics I'm wondering if I can get good GPA for law school if I go into engineering.Or majors like Economics and polisience are easier to get a good GPA?

I don't want to get into IP but just wondering if I could get a good GPA in engineering with the same amount of work compared to political science or Economics.

thank you.

 

They are all fine programs. I'd go with the program you're most genuinely interested in and the school you are most excited to attend. Also, it's just a starting point, lots of ppl switch majors/programs in UG.

Personally, I'd take one of the programs at McGill or UofT because you can live in an interesting city for 4 years while getting a degree that can get you a job when you leave (in case you're not interested in further studies at the end of UG - most aren't.)

Edited by conge

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10 hours ago, Cyruszzz said:

I"m considering law for my career and I'm choosing my major right now.

So I've been accepted to all programs I've applied :

electrical engineering McGill

Computer science UofT and Waterloo

Political science McGill

Economics McGill

and Poliscience and Economics at concordia 

Eventhough I'm good at maths and physics I'm wondering if I can get good GPA for law school if I go into engineering.Or majors like Economics and polisience are easier to get a good GPA?

I don't want to get into IP but just wondering if I could get a good GPA in engineering with the same amount of work compared to political science or Economics.

thank you.

 

Stick with the computer science at Waterloo.  Especially if its coop.

 

I'm still waiting to hear back from law schools, but thanks to my networking I already have a full time job the minute I step out of Waterloo.

 

Yea my grades are a little lower, and it will be tougher to get into law schools, but the opportunities the Waterloo affords you are second to none. 

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2 hours ago, Deadpool said:

Don't be foolish enough to turn down a comp sci golden ticket for the off-chance that you MAY go to law school and MAY land a Bay Street job, or a legal job that you actually enjoy doing. 

I should add that computer science is not a golden ticket by any means. There is severe competition for the jobs that make six figures and the market is incredibly saturated. Prospects are probably better than in law but let’s not kid ourselves. Everyone wants to do tech because the potential is huge, but the downside is everyone wants to do tech.

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5 minutes ago, Ryn said:

I should add that computer science is not a golden ticket by any means. There is severe competition for the jobs that make six figures and the market is incredibly saturated. Prospects are probably better than in law but let’s not kid ourselves. Everyone wants to do tech because the potential is huge, but the downside is everyone wants to do tech.

The upside is that Waterloo and UofT have the best computer science grads in the country.  

https://uwaterloo.ca/co-operative-education/why-co-op/co-op-earnings/hourly-earnings-information

By in large CS students make $25-35 an hour in while still an undergrad student.

Its important not to mix up the quality of computer science education in Canada, there are massive disparities in quality of education. 

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Any kind of social sciences or humanities program is intellectually decrepit for like 98% of the people who go through it. Your engineering education will serve you for the rest of your life, by modeling a rigorous, logical way to think through problems of any kind. 

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People in law school with engineering backgrounds do great. Employers love engineers, probably because they know they can get through a hard program, they think logically, and are taught to solve problems. All those skills are super useful in law. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, DougFromOntario said:

The upside is that Waterloo and UofT have the best computer science grads in the country.  

https://uwaterloo.ca/co-operative-education/why-co-op/co-op-earnings/hourly-earnings-information

By in large CS students make $25-35 an hour in while still an undergrad student.

Its important not to mix up the quality of computer science education in Canada, there are massive disparities in quality of education. 

Waterloo is a fantastic university for math/science and if you get in, you should go! They have amazing co-op/job placement programs too. I used to go to math/science camp and various gifted programs, and a lot of the kids I met there went to Waterloo and they all have fantastic careers with Google, Apple, etc. 

16 minutes ago, WatchMeBePM said:

People in law school with engineering backgrounds do great. Employers love engineers, probably because they know they can get through a hard program, they think logically, and are taught to solve problems. All those skills are super useful in law. 

Agreed - these are my observations as well. Former engineers seem to do well in tax law. 

 

11 hours ago, Mal said:

You aren't considering law as a career, you are choosing an undergraduate major. Law school doesn't need to be planned in advance, do well in university and do well on the LSAT. 

But the whole premise of the thread that one major is easier than another is silly in this context for a few reasons.

First, schools are under a tremendous amount of pressure to have approximately the same grading distribution between different majors. If they don't then schools who have lower averages, in things like engineering, will not place as many students in graduate programs of various sorts or place as well in the employment market hurting their students and ultimately the school. The result is that basically, every college class is effectively bell-curved. 

Second, the students in law school tend to be high achievers and to do well in legal practice means out competing these students. Trying to find an "easy" program hamstrings you by limiting your development during university. It also increases the likelihood of getting into law school but struggling while there. 

I do think, or have heard anecdotally, that the curve in engineering is a bit tougher and it can be harder to get really good grades as compared to what you can get in other programs. Engineering is a professional program, so they are not really worried about people getting in to med school, law school, grad school etc. For many careers in engineering, you will need a Masters in engineering, which a lot of people take, but it’s an engineering program open to engineering grads only so they understand the engineering grading scale, as do engineering employers. It is definitely still possible to do well, but if you think you want to apply to a program like medicine or law where really high grades are an asset, engineering may not be the best choice. (That being said, engineering tends to teach rigorous, methodical thought that helps you get a very high LSAT score, and my observation is that most engineering grads got in to law school on the strength of a high LSAT rather than their grades, and then tended to do very well in law school.) 

2 hours ago, Ryn said:

I should add that computer science is not a golden ticket by any means. There is severe competition for the jobs that make six figures and the market is incredibly saturated. Prospects are probably better than in law but let’s not kid ourselves. Everyone wants to do tech because the potential is huge, but the downside is everyone wants to do tech.

Fully agree with this. There is a big difference between taking an amazing co-op at somewhere like Waterloo and signing up for Computers 101 at your local U. 

Edited by providence

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Twenty said:

Edit #2: Also, there are several law schools which look at your last two years or drop your worst courses. I'm assuming you are interested in engineering (because you said you are good at math) but afraid that your GPA will take a hit. As such, it might help alleviate some stress knowing that you technically can major in engineering (to find out how it's like) during first year, get "bad" grades and/or find out it's not for you,  transfer to a different program, and still be potentially competitive for law school given how several of them calculate admission GPA.

Also I think it is easier to switch from engineering to a humanities program rather than the reverse. I may be wrong but I've never heard of the latter scenario occurring. 

Edited by BearPatrol

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1 minute ago, BearPatrol said:

Also I think it is easier to switch from engineering to a humanities program rather than the reverse. I may be wrong I've never heard of the latter scenario occurring. 

 

I would not assume that a switch from engineering to humanities will assure good grades, especially if OP is good at math and physics. If you enter engineering and are struggling, I would first look at study skills and the ability to function in a competitive university environment. If engineering is not working, I would try the sciences or pure math before switching to the humanities. 

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14 hours ago, Cyruszzz said:

I"m considering law for my career and I'm choosing my major right now.

So I've been accepted to all programs I've applied :

electrical engineering McGill - Expected GPA:

Computer science UofT and Waterloo - Expected GPA:

Political science McGill - Expected GPA:

Economics McGill - Expected GPA:

and Poliscience and Economics at concordia - Expected GPA

Plus, happiness/interest in program.

Eventhough I'm good at maths and physics I'm wondering if I can get good GPA for law school if I go into engineering.Or majors like Economics and polisience are easier to get a good GPA?

I don't want to get into IP but just wondering if I could get a good GPA in engineering with the same amount of work compared to political science or Economics.

thank you.

 

[quoted post altered with additional text in red]

Caveat: though I did engineering first, my university degrees are years past and I only practice law PT now and my engineering degree matters for my FT work.

If your only goal is to get into law school, and you don't think you'll use your undergrad degree (be it engineering or computer science or economics or whatever) to any real extent (no IP etc.) then all that really matters is your grades in whatever program you take. Which is specific to you, and depends upon you as well as the university and program. And is not necessarily the same as it was in high school re marks. Some people easily get As in engineering but would get Bs in humanities, others get As in humanities easily but Bs in STEM. I have no idea whether you, specifically, will get better marks, given the curve and your fellow students, in one program at one university or another, but you should have some idea, based on your self-assessment, high school grades, and your research on the various schools and programs and what marks there are like.

And if you haven't done that research, do it.

Now, if you think there's a chance you'll want to work in your undergrad field or otherwise use your education, or if some courses of study interest you more and you project greater happiness with one rather than another, then that's an important non-grades factor. But focusing only on getting into law school, it's predominantly marks and LSAT that matter.

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3 minutes ago, providence said:

I would not assume that a switch from engineering to humanities will assure good grades, especially if OP is good at math and physics. If you enter engineering and are struggling, I would first look at study skills and the ability to function in a competitive university environment. If engineering is not working, I would try the sciences or pure math before switching to the humanities. 

I agree, that assumption isn't warranted.

I meant just as a matter of course there are probably less hoops to jump through if you decide you want to transfer into a humanities program as opposed to transferring into an engineering program.

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3 minutes ago, epeeist said:

[quoted post altered with additional text in red]

Caveat: though I did engineering first, my university degrees are years past and I only practice law PT now and my engineering degree matters for my FT work.

If your only goal is to get into law school, and you don't think you'll use your undergrad degree (be it engineering or computer science or economics or whatever) to any real extent (no IP etc.) then all that really matters is your grades in whatever program you take. Which is specific to you, and depends upon you as well as the university and program. And is not necessarily the same as it was in high school re marks. Some people easily get As in engineering but would get Bs in humanities, others get As in humanities easily but Bs in STEM. I have no idea whether you, specifically, will get better marks, given the curve and your fellow students, in one program at one university or another, but you should have some idea, based on your self-assessment, high school grades, and your research on the various schools and programs and what marks there are like.

And if you haven't done that research, do it.

Now, if you think there's a chance you'll want to work in your undergrad field or otherwise use your education, or if some courses of study interest you more and you project greater happiness with one rather than another, then that's an important non-grades factor. But focusing only on getting into law school, it's predominantly marks and LSAT that matter.

I think it's pretty hard for a high school student to predict their expected GPA - almost impossible. University is so different from high school and universities and programs vary wildly. I know top students who had almost perfect GPAs in high school gifted programs who crashed and burned in university. The best you can do is find out what the average grades are in the programs you want and assume you will be average and see which is the best outcome - if you do better than average, great. 

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