You are anticipating yourself as a lawyer within a few years and love this image. There could be many reasons for you to choose a law school. Maybe your father or brother was a lawyer, and you decided to join the bandwagon, or you have spent your time watching the lawyer’s attire and attitude in legal dramas.
But here is the thing that you are ignoring. Have you pondered on the reasons for which you decided to go to law school? You might have the right reasons or may be completely mistaken.
Take some time and ponder on the following questions to decide whether you should go to law school or not.
Do you have the traits of a good lawyer?
Just because you want to earn more money or feel pressure for adding a fancy title with your name isn’t the right reason for entering law school. Look at your preferences, motivations, and intellectual qualities and find a compelling reason to be at law school.
Only if you are a persuasive debater and have thick skin on people’s remarks and gestures, you will succeed in a law career.
If you feel energetic while talking about justice, legal proceedings, and social issues, have excellent communication skills, don’t hesitate to put up your point, and are quick-witted to come with rational reasons, you can be a good fit in the legal world.
Where will you get the admission?
To excel in a legal career isn’t a smooth line. Things can get easy if you succeed in getting admission to a high-ranked college. There will be more chances for you to hit a higher-paying job.
On the other hand, if you enter a lower-ranked college, good grades and extracurricular can save your future. And if you are ready for each of these options, better not think of it.
Have you already analyzed your time and financial investment?
Being captivated by future prospects, status, and salary figure is not an invalid reason, but looking into your time and financial investment is also necessary.
Are you ready to pay off high costs for your law school? Will you be able to manage your tuition and living costs while bounded for 3 years without any professional job?
Are you capable of changing yourself according to the field requirements? A legal career demands your time and commitment, and when you finally get your degree, you have to invest more time to establish yourself as a distinguished lawyer.
Ask yourself these questions and decide rationally.
How long is law school?
Generally, the law school program is 3 years long, with full-time classes. In the first year, students learn the foundational subjects, while in the 2nd and 3rd year, students can choose subjects of their own interest.
Various law schools offer part-time law programs that are held on the weekends or in the evenings. If you decide to get your JD part-time, it will take you 4 years to complete.
The American Bar Association (ABA) has accredited 199 law schools and programs. To get admission to any of your interest colleges, you need to search the college’s admission criteria before applying.
A constant criterion for all the colleges is that you must have a bachelor’s degree irrespective of your majors. There is no need to get a bachelor’s degree in a specific discipline. But some subjects can be helpful for law school that includes criminal justice, philosophy, or political science.
Once you have chosen the college, you need to take the LSAT (the Law School Admissions Test). Usually, colleges publish the list of the score of students who get selected. So you can get a general idea of what score you need to achieve to be selected.
➔ READ MORE: Law careers • A career in law explained.
Is law school worth it?
When you are all set to invest your time and money, you can’t afford to end up with regret. To configure whether law school is worth it or not, you need to keenly look up at law school debts, expected initial salary, and your college reputation.
According to a Gallop poll report, those who obtained a law degree from 2000 to 2015, only 23% said that a law degree is worth the cost.
As the law school workload doesn’t permit students to work part-time, they rely on loans to fulfill their education costs. Adding up the interest rates with tuition fee loans, it makes up to $145,500. According to recent data published by the National Center for Education Statistics, the average law school debt is around $145,500.
If a recent graduate starts earning a yearly salary equal to or greater than the total debt, it is definitely worth it but finding such an ideal job is challenging.
The pay that you get also depends on your college reputation and field of law.
If you completed your law education in a reputable college and chose the field of law that offers more opportunities, there are clear chances that you will get a high-paid job and meet your debt obligations quickly.
Your financial considerations, motivation, interest, scores, and college selection all will impact your future. So, don’t rush and take all the time to look into every single aspect that can affect your choice.