I’m not sure whether or not going to law school is the right choice for you. Law school is a very challenging endeavor, as well as a significant investment of time and money.
While law school can be very rewarding, both personally and professionally, it is ultimately a huge decision that you have to make for yourself.
The legal profession can be a prestigious and rewarding way to make a living. Big Law Firms in large cities commonly pay $160,000 a year to first year associates. For those student lucky enough to land one of these positions, law school will start paying off very quickly.
Furthermore, public interest work can be very rewarding for young lawyers interested in making a difference. Although these positions do not typically pay as well, this type of legal work may much more personally rewarding. Many law schools offer loan forgiveness programs for students who work in public interest positions after law school. For example, University of Chicago Law School grads can go to school for free if they pursue public interest work.
On the other hand, the opportunity to work at a Big Law Firm is a limited one. Many students, especially in the current economy, and especially those at less prestigious law schools, might find it difficult to get a job, or might not earn enough to service the large debt burden required to attend law school.
This underscores the need to work hard on the LSAT. A good LSAT score can help you get into a top law school and receive scholarship awards. This will both reduce the amount of debt that you will incur AND increase your chances of landing a lucrative job upon graduation.
The law school decision is, indeed, a difficult one. You need to ask yourself if a legal career is really something that you would enjoy. If you are just going to law school for a big salary, then you really need to do some soul searching.
The legal market is rough right now. I hope that a few years from now things will be better. However, even in the best of times, students who don’t graduate from Tier 1 schools often end up starting their careers with a mountain of debt and a salary that isn’t quite as high as they had hoped.
If you aren’t sure whether Law School is right for you, you may want to consider taking a couple of years after undergrad, getting some work experience, and re-evaluating after you have some real world experience. If nothing else, the experience will make you a more mature and knowledgeable law school student.
Ultimately, the question of whether or not law school is right for you is a personal decision that only you can make for yourself.