For many years, law school graduates have faced tough job markets due to too many law schools and too many graduates. And many graduates find that the profession is not what they had hoped. Despite the problems with law schools, the legal profession can provide a lucrative and satisfying career for many individuals. Carefully consider the following factors when deciding whether or not to attend school.
You’ve Assessed Your Career Interests, Values, and Personality
Law school is meant to prepare students for the legal profession, so you should know that law is a good fit for you. Take career tests and learn about your personality, career values, and interests. Visit your campus career center, take online career tests, and learn more about career interest areas.
Strong Passion for the Law
Law school is tough and requires a great commitment. In order to be successful in law school and as a lawyer, you’ll need not only a passing interest in law but a strong desire to become a lawyer. Law school shouldn’t be a default choice because you don’t know what else to do after graduation.
Knowledge of the Legal Profession
Your idea of the legal profession may be skewed by movies, television and books. While some lawyers spend their days working on high-profile cases, many others don’t. Before deciding to become a lawyer, find out what the job is really like. Talk to lawyers working in different legal specialties to get an idea of how their days are actually spent. You can also find insider career information online.
Realistic Outlook on Job Market and Salaries
Some lawyers do make a lot of money, but many others earn modest salaries while also trying to pay back student loans. Law school doesn’t guarantee a lucrative job, or any job at all. Research average earnings in your area at Payscale or Salary.com. Also inquire about job placement and salary statistics at law schools that you’re considering. If you’re expecting good job opportunities, it’s crucial to choose the right law school because all law school programs are not equal.
The decision to attend law school should not be taken lightly. Any professional program requires considerable investment of time, energy, and money. Do your research and don’t make any decisions based on superficial factors and don’t let law school be a default choice.
For more information on law school, read Law School Confidential: A Complete Guide to the Law School Experience: By Students, for Students