For many fresh graduates considering a legal career, this is a common question; Should I attend a law school? Is law school worth it?
You may have grown up watching Law and Order and fantasized about being a top lawyer like the characters on the program, and you’re wondering if it’s actually achievable.
If you’re debating whether to apply to law school, you’re undoubtedly asking yourself some of these questions:
Is it truly worth the time and money to go to law school?
Who should think about going to law school? Before enrolling, who should explore other options?
It might be difficult to decide what to do after graduation, but taking the time to consider your alternatives and motivations for attending specific graduate schools, such as law school, is something you should not rush.
If you’re thinking about going to law school because you’re not sure where else to go or can’t decide, here are some things to think about.
Table of Contents Hide
- Is Going to Law School Worth it?
- What is a Good Reason to go to Law School?
- 7 Considerations Before Going to Law School in 2022
Is Going to Law School Worth it?
You might know someone or (maybe it’s you) who’s wondering: Is law school worth it at all?
Everyone understands that law school requires a significant amount of time, money, and mental effort.
The process is full of hurdles, from studying for the LSAT to passing the bar test and absorbing an almost absurd amount of reading—which is why your rationale for selecting law school is important not only as you pursue a degree, but also as you consider the longevity of your legal profession.
The truth remains that, law school is not cheap, but it, like any other postgraduate program, may be the key to entering the sector of your choice.
When deciding whether law school is worthwhile, consider the financial aspects, such as average law school debt, return on investment, career aspirations, typical lawyer earnings, and more.
There is a lot of advice out there about whether someone should go to law school.
The most common topic of discussion is money. Is a Juris Doctor worth the cost of law school? Is the initial debt worth paying in exchange for a future (and increasingly improbable) partner payday?
What is a Good Reason to go to Law School?
The idea of working for a well-known law firm or for a well-known client excites many law students and lawyers because they expect to be respected by other adults.
And this has created a great demand for lawyers since people and businesses need them, but the way they use lawyers is likely to alter dramatically soon.
However, being in a position of prestige provides happiness to lawyers and law students.
Hence, the most important reason to attend law school is the feeling of satisfaction and prestige that comes with the career.
So, if you want to study law, you should enroll in law school.
7 Considerations Before Going to Law School in 2022
Before devoting a significant amount of time and money to law school, it’s critical to assess the pros and cons of going to law school before you draw certain conclusions.
Here are 7 considerations before going to law school in 2022:
1. Can I Pass a Law School
To be considered for admission to law school, you must have a specific collegiate GPA and LSAT score.
A GPA of at least 3.50 and an LSAT score of 170 are required by Harvard, Yale, and the other top five law schools.
These scores are strong enough to consider the possibility of making it into a good law school.
The terrible truth is that not all law degrees are made equal; in the legal industry, the institution you attend counts a great deal.
If you want to work as a high-paying corporate lawyer but can’t get into one of the best schools, you should lower your expectations, study harder and retake your examinations, or consider an alternative career path.
Consider taking more time off to study if you have a poor LSAT score. While you’re studying, you can spend some time shadowing a few lawyers at various companies.
However, you’ll still stand out as a great candidate if you can be a top performer in a mid-tier law school and spend time working on journals or in clinics.
Also, think about going to a school near where you want to practice in the future. You’ll build a stronger network this way, and your alumni contacts will be more likely to assist you in landing a job.
2. Can I Stand the Cost and Debt
This is one consideration every law school aspirants need to have.
Because full-time law school demands a three-year commitment, and the typical tuition and fees at an American Bar Association-accredited university for just one of those years are already exorbitant.
For instance, in 2019, the average tuition at a private law school was $49,312 compared to $28,186 at a public law school.
Rent, food, transportation, and other living expenses are not included in this figure.
This cost is practically cumbersome for an average law student. And the only alternative is to work while studying.
But most law students are unable to work due to their workload, hence, student loans are the most popular means of covering these expenses.
As a result, the average law school graduate owes more than $145,500 in debt.
As a law student, you don’t only deal with the high cost of study, you still have student loan debt to deal with.
3. Do you have Real-World Law Experience?
This might not be a big deal to most law students, but it’s very important.
Before you start thinking about going to a law school, you should get real-world law experience.
Consider interning at a law firm or with a legal aid organization.
Applicants who have taken the time to do so are admired by law schools.
Before you apply, try to obtain as much experience with the law as possible to see if you enjoy it.
Three years and a lot of debt is a big commitment, so be sure you’re serious about the material before you attend.
4. What’s the Prospective Job Market?
So, you’re debating whether or not to pursue a law degree, and you’ve got one huge concern on your mind: “How will it affect my employment prospects?”
In recent years, there has been a lot of talk about the legal job market’s future and the prospects for law graduates.
In order to practice law in the United States, you must first pass a state bar test. It is not enough to graduate from law school to practice law.
Some job prospects for law school graduates do not technically entail practicing law and do not necessitate passing the bar exam.
However, the majority of postgraduate positions you’ll be considering won’t fall into this group.
As a result, you’ll need to schedule and pass at least one bar exam. When considering where to pursue your legal education, take into account a school’s bar passage rates.
Other choices for work following law school may be less evident, such as law firm professionals, law school support staff, teaching roles, and a variety of careers in banks or other businesses.
Consider work-life balance and the short and long term when you research different job opportunities.
Law school is demanding, and much future employment will be as well.
Aim to do something you enjoy and that provides you joy and fulfillment.
5. Where Can I Practice?
Where you can possibly practice is one thing you should put into consideration.
Just like identifying the “what” and “where” go hand in hand more than you might expect.
For example, if you want to be a national legal advocate for social change, Washington, D.C. is an excellent area to study and network.
Finding out which locations and states have the best job markets for your legal career goals will help you limit down your options for law school.
When you’re counting on your carefully cultivated network from law school to obtain your first job in law, starting in the proper location pays off.
You can even opt to volunteer for any job opportunities you find in those areas that have high prospects.
6. What’s my Average Earning After School?
From the above stated, it’s obvious that most law school students graduate with huge debts. This makes it very vital that you put your earning capability into great consideration.
Being certain that your salary in the future will be able to commensurate with your debt levels.
For instance, new lawyers who get good employment rarely make enough money to pay off their debt.
The SoFi analysis also evaluates law schools by their salary-to-debt ratio, which determines which gives the best value.
That number indicates how much more your future salary could exceed your possible debt, which can help you decide whether law school is worthwhile.
7. Can I Grow in This Profession?
The legal profession has grown at a breakneck pace over the last few years.
A constant increase in earnings and revenues increased headcounts, and large wage increases created a plethora of career prospects in a variety of legal roles.
A legal job can be intellectually stimulating, personally enjoyable, and financially lucrative.
Before applying to law school, you should compare the costs of obtaining a law degree to the earnings you can expect in the end.
Because law school takes many years after earning a bachelor’s degree, you should factor in the opportunity cost of spending more time in school and less time working.
Hence, consider going to law school if you enjoy law and are prepared to be flexible, take risks, work hard, and reach out and create your own possibilities.