Brian White | September 1, 2015 | legal professional
There is a huge debate about whether applying to law school is worth the effort. The answer, as with many things, is “it depends.” There are pros and cons to applying to law school, so consider your personal interests and skills and how they match up with this ambition. You should also take a few other questions into consideration.
Do I Know What I Want to Do?
If you are just looking for a place to spend a few years trying to figure out what you want to do with your life, then law school is probably not for you. Law school is expensive, and the pay scale for lawyers is just as varied as that of any other field. Do not put yourself in debt without being certain you want to make use of the education.
Knowing what you want to do is more than just a general idea of a field of practice or specialty; it covers understanding the details of the field and where you want to take yourself. When it comes to deciding on law school, you need to know what part of the field you are looking to enter. Carefully measure every option.
What Do I Want to Accomplish?
Or why do I want to go to law school? Sometimes just knowing the path in general does not help you figure out why you should be doing it. Before making any commitments, you need to figure out why you are deciding on a course of action.
This includes figuring out whether law school is a reasonable way to achieve your goals. Unless you plan on going into the legal profession, law school is likely not the right choice. You do not want to spend a lot of time, money, and effort going through law school only to discover that the decision does not really fit with your plans. Try to figure that out before you enroll.
Do I Know What Is Involved?
Sometimes you make a decision in haste and discover it is a lot harder than it seemed at first. Or that it involves something you hate. Either way, you have wasted a lot of time and effort to achieve something that, if you had researched the field, you would have never even considered. Other times, you realize that while you might enjoy some aspects of the field, others are problematic.
Law school is intense and requires knowing a lot of details. No matter what type of practice you go into, there will always be those two aspects of legal careers. Investigate all the facets of the field, and only make a decision after thorough analysis.
If you make a fully informed decision about whether you want to apply to law school, there is a good chance you will be able to get in with the current economic climate. However, you have to be certain you know what you are getting yourself in to. Talk with various academic and career advisors to see if you have the right abilities and interests to be a lawyer, and what type of lawyer you would perform best as.
Also, try and talk to some people currently working in the field about the daily life and what you can expect in 10 or 20 years. These individuals are likely to give you a solid assessment of the good and bad points of a legal career – at least from their perspective. If these pros and cons sound reasonable to you, then you are probably a decent fit. Otherwise, try and figure out what field you are better suited to.
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