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callie16 callie16 (Member)

Law School???

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Hi all! I'm looking for advice from anyone who was a nurse and went to law school or knows someone who did!

I've only been a nurse for 3 years and I already feel so drained and dread the thought of spending the rest of my life working bedside.. This past fall I applied for DNP school because it felt like the next "natural" step in my nursing career. As it's getting closer to interview time, I'm having serious doubts about my desire to be a NP and continue in direct healthcare work.

Ever since high school, I've always entertained the idea of being a lawyer but never really took it seriously because all of my loved ones pushed me to be a nurse since it is a stable career. I've been looking into health law and love the idea of working as a hospital attorney or for a research facility (still being involved with healthcare but not on the forefront). I know in the past years the law field was very over saturated with new attorneys but I've heard it's improving (especially in the health field!).

Any input on it being a smart move or if I would just be throwing away tens of thousands of dollars to end up still being a nurse since I can't land a job??

Also, I've started studying for the LSAT but haven't taken it yet. Do I just take it and see if I even have the scores to get in a good school??

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Just curious on the specifics of the law that interest you. Not a lawyer, an RN but have a BIL lawyer and brother in law school. My best friend is also a lawyer.

I find the law very ineresting but have noticed that once in the field, many paths can lead you into shady directions. Not all, and again I have no direct experience, just something I have pondered.

If you want to make money, you may end up working for a big company crushing the little guy.

Now as my hospital is in an ongoing bargaining battle with our union, i have learned that our "hospital lawyer" is an amoral psychopath with no value for the wellbeing of patients or workers. He can do this because he does not care.

If you are someone who wants to use the law to do good, you can find your way, but as a hospital lawyer, you may find yourself defending exploitation and hiding fraud. Wont name the hospital chain i work at but just avoid the big systems!

Any actual lawers i would love to hear feedback, because I have thought of this for some time, and please correct me if I am off base. I am not saying all lawyers are psychopaths, definitely not. I would love to hear of fields esp health/law and what they do!

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I do know someone who was an RN and when she was older she went to law school and is now a nurse lawyer. I know some hosptials have lawyers that are nurses. It is possible. You have only been a nurse for three years. Maybe get a few more years of experience before going to law school. There isn't a rush. Schools will always be there. Take some time to see what you really want and don't just go to school because others are. Try and get involved at with with some quality or research, or something that will help broaden your perspective of nursing. If you wnat to go to law school and in health care you will want to really know what are the gold standards of nursing. Also, see if there are any local RN professional organizations. I realize it is hard to blindly go to a meeting, but it may give you an idea of what other RNs do.

What type of nursing are you currently doing? Med/Surg/ ER/ICU/Ambulatory/NEuro, etc?

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I have a friend that was a nurse and went to law school. She now works in risk management for a health system as an attorney. She seems pretty happy with her switch.

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My cousin was a nurse and then became a lawyer. She works in medical malpractice and enjoys it.

My husband is looking into law school right now (not a nurse), so I've been doing a lot of research on law schools. Firstly, don't just take the LSAT to see what score you get to see if it's worth it. That costs money and the score is saved online on LSAC. There are lots of old tests online and in books - many you have to pay for, but some that are free, for you to practice with. You can take one and score it and see where you're starting at. People study for months for this test because the stakes for the LSAT are so high. Khan Academy has online prep as well.

Check the schools you are interested in. They are required to post their post-graduation job rates, which is the big consideration rather than US News ranking for the schools. They also post their median scores so you can see where your score/GPA lies at your goal schools. What I've discovered is that if you have the right scores and application, you can get generous scholarships. I know that sounds really obvious, but I had no idea you could negotiate more scholarship money if you get high scores, because they want you to make their numbers look good. 75-125% scholarship? WORD. I'm sure plenty of people pay sticker price, but we're practical people, so my husband isn't going to go if he can't get the scores to get the money he wants. The overall thought of our lawyer friends is that if you have to take on significant debt to go to law school, it probably isn't worth it anyway with all the lawyers out there right now.

Again, just a random nurse who has looked up a lot of stuff on the internet about law school, so take it with a grain of salt lol.

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Firstly, don't just take the LSAT to see what score you get to see if it's worth it.

I didn't mean this in the terms of randomly taking the LSAT. I would definitely study for it and be as prepared as I could before taking it. I'm more curious to know if my scores would get me into a good school. I didn't know that old exams were posted and you could take/grade them yourself. That would definitely be a good way to judge if my scores could cut it! My undergrad GPA was good but I know LSAT questions are set up completely different than nursing school style.

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Thank you everyone for all the good information! There's a lot to consider and definitely more to look into!

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What type of nursing are you currently doing? Med/Surg/ ER/ICU/Ambulatory/NEuro, etc?

Currently, I'm in a NICU. My first job as a new grad was in a Neuro/Ortho float pool. I learned within months that I hated taking care of adults and got out as soon as I could.

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You could take the GRE to give yourself some idea of how you will do on the LSAT. I have taken both and the logic part on the GRE was very similar to the LSAT. I also would not put it off too long. Get a book and prepare. I took the GRE while young and scored high , but I was older with the LSAT and didnt do nearly as well.

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My D is in her 3rd year of law school. Her school had the highest placement rate in our state last year. That is an important statistic. She has already gotten an offer, in the six figure range. Fortunately she has no debt. She's not working in healthcare, but she has classmates that are and have already received offers.

You do need to know that law school is VERY rigorous if you are in a top school. D says it has been the most stressful 3 years of her life. All she does is study and stress.

Edited by Horseshoe

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