IS LAW SCHOOL FOR ME?


So you want to attend law school. But do you really want to? The answer may be "no".


          First and foremost, don't believe what they tell you about "being able to do anything with a law degree". This is a deceptive statement because it is equally correct to say that "you can do anything with a philosophy degree", because the "being able to do anything" part comes from you, not the degree in hand. 

          That being said, I suggest that you consider law school only if you want to practice law, otherwise all you have is a very expensive diploma. Now it is time to ask yourself whether you actually want to practice law, because even if you have the skill to do so, the industry is not for every personality.

 

FACTORS TO CONSIDER

Cost: Even if you want to be a lawyer, you might not like or even be able to make the investment required. Everything about law school has costs: Taking the LSAT, applying to schools, tuition, course materials, graduating, bar prep courses, applying to the Bar, and a $10,000-$15,000 Bar loan so that you can pay your bills and survive the months that you are studying for the bar full time, as well s travel and lodging expenses the day of the exam. Even if you go to a cheap law school, you are looking at about $100,000 in costs, even if you live frugally.

 

Returns on Investment: After making such an investment, you would think that you would get a good return immediately as a lawyer, but you would be wrong. A handful of the top students in a class might get a high paying job, but in my state, the average starting salary for a new lawyer is around $40,000. That is not enough to pay your student loans unless you already have your car payed off and live cheaply.

 

Your Honesty: If you are a person who is morally unable to stretch the truth, you probably won't like the work. As a lawyer, you will be sworn to zealously defend your client to the extent that the law allows. This means you have to push the limits in what you do and do not say in support of your client or against another. Winning a case for reasons such as these, and not the actual merits of the case, is not honorable but is expected of you if the option exists.

 

Your Empathy: Many fields of law come with some serious burdens on the conscience. Family law forces you to deal with the worst family disputes and problems imaginable. Dealing with wills forces you to deal with family squabbling over who gets what from the death of another human. Criminal law deals with labeling and punishing fellow human beings, sometimes even the innocent ones; or helping the guilty ones get free. Every field of law has some aspect that could keep you up at night or even jade your personality. if you are highly sensitive, you may not enjoy the life. Like they say, nobody comes to court unless they have a problem, and you are the one who will have to deal with those problems.

 

In Conclusion:

          After considering these factors and you still think law school is for you, by all means, go for it. But I wanted to give you fair warning of what to expect. I didn't know these things and truly wish that I had, and thus focused on my true passions in life.