Let’s be clear about this. If you came to me and asked if I thought you should go to law school, I’d probably say “No.”
Frankly, I have no idea what you should do, but I’d still say “No.” Why? Because I don’t want to be too encouraging. If you really, really, deep-down really want to be a lawyer, me telling you not to go to law school isn’t going to stop you. And that’s a good thing.
But if you’re on the fence, and you haven’t talked to at least a handful of lawyers about what they do all day, and you haven’t figured out where you fit into the profession (and not in some wishful thinking kind of way), you shouldn’t even consider going to law school. Seriously, just don’t do it.
And you might tell me, “Sure, but that’s not going to be me. I’ll work for a small firm and see my kids every night for dinner, and I’ll help people.” And maybe you would, and that could work out. But most likely you won’t, and you’ll either find yourself in a crazy law firm job where you work all the time, and someone else owns your life, or you’ll find yourself in excruciating debt, and you’ll only wish you had one of those crazy law firm jobs.
Knowing what I know now, here’s what I’d say:
If you’re playing the odds, law school’s not a good bet.
Is there a chance that you’ll find yourself well-compensated with a life you enjoy, twenty years after law school? Sure. There’s also a chance you’ll walk into a Vegas casino, sit down at a slot machine, and hit the jackpot.
Neither one of these scenarios is all that likely, and, in any case, it pays to do your homework. Or to learn to count cards.
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