How to Decide Whether Law School is Right for You

by Five Fantastic Lawyers™ on May 16, 2012

Below is a legal blog post regarding choosing whether or not you should become a law student. Comments welcome below the article.

Law school is a huge commitment, both in terms of time and money. If your long term goal is to become a lawyer, it’s completely worth it, but if you’re unsure of where you see yourself in ten years, you may want to think twice before signing up for an expensive law school program.

Whether you’re completely set on the idea or still a little undecided, heavily consider the following questions before making your big decision:

Do You Want to be a Lawyer?

This may seem like a pointless or even stupid question, but you’d be utterly amazed at how many people go to law school half-heartedly. Law school is such hard work and so costly that it’s only a wise investment if you’re 100% committed to becoming a lawyer. If you are passionate about law but can’t see yourself as an actual lawyer, then you should consider an alternative qualification in the same field, such as a masters in judicial administration or criminal justice.

Do You Have the Discipline?

You need to be passionate about law in order to succeed as a lawyer, but you also need to have extreme discipline. Both studying for law school and working as an attorney involve long hours, long weeks and very little time to spend doing other things. It’s important to recognize just how much hard work you will have to commit to law school and beyond before you enter this line of profession. It can be a very rewarding job, but it takes a lot of hard work to be successful at it.

Can You Afford to be a Lawyer?

Unless you get a scholarship or have plenty of savings, you will most likely have to take out huge student loans to get you through law school. Law tuition isn’t cheap, and it could take potentially decades to pay them back in full. If you think you can make the money back easily you should be fine, but if you have any hesitations you may want to think again before you enroll in law school. Debt can be crippling, even for lawyers.

Do You Perform Well Under Pressure?

Both law school and the law profession are all about working under time constraints and beating tough competition. The job of a lawyer is often ranked as one of the most stressful jobs out there, so if you don’t deal with stress well; this probably isn’t the job for you. People that thrive under pressure and can handle tight deadlines will do well in law, but anyone that just wants a quiet life should stay well away.

Enrolling in law school isn’t something you want to take lightly. It’s a massive financial investment that will only become profitable once you have worked as a lawyer for many years. It can be one of the most rewarding jobs out there, but also one of the most stressful and demanding. Think carefully before you enter this tough profession and good luck!

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