Don’t Go to Law School Unless You Want to Be a Lawyer

Scales of JusticeIf you’re considering law school, you may have a variety of ideas floating around in your mind.

Typically, these include one or more of the following:

  • law is glamorous and exciting, just look at all those TV shows about hot lawyers
  • lawyers are really rich
  • if I’m a lawyer, I can help people
  • maybe I’ll become a legal academic, that seems cool
  • the Constitution is pretty inspiring (at least the parts I’ve read), I think I’ll become a Supreme Court litigator
  • my current job sucks, so anything would be better
  • a law degree is really flexible, I can do lots of things when I graduate
  • I need a path, any path!
  • my parents always wanted me to be a lawyer
  • I love to argue
  • what else am I supposed to do with a Poli Sci degree when I hate science?
Do NOT Go to Law School Unless You Think You’ll Be Happy as a Lawyer

Let’s get real.

It makes no sense to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, and several years of your life, attending law school unless you’re fairly certain you’ll be happy as a lawyer.

Law school is not a place for “exploring your options.” It’s a very expensive and time-consuming professional degree program that enables you to practice law.

Yeah, Well What About John Grisham?

Are there lots of people trained as lawyers who quit and did something else? Yes. Why?

In most cases, it’s because they were smart people to begin with, and could have done whatever else they ended up doing from the start, without getting a law degree.

In short, don’t give law school serious thought unless you plan to be a lawyer.

Surely Some People Should Become Lawyers!

Do I think no one should ever go to law school? No.

For some subset of the people who apply, it’s the right choice. They’re committed to the profession, they’ve explored the reality of working as a lawyer, and they understand exactly what they want out of the experience.

For many others, however, it’s a very expensive and time-consuming mistake, one that negatively shapes their lives for years to come.

Read On:

Not sure which category you fall into? Stay tuned for the three-step guide to figuring it all out.

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Until then, explore some myths about law school, or get a second opinion on the matter.

Have questions about whether law school’s right for you? Leave them in the comments!

Image by kbjesq via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.


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