By Dennis Hung • January 07, 2019•Law School, Choosing a Career and Landing a Job
Going to law school is a popular decision among those looking for a prestigious career path. Motivated by what they've seen on television and the movies, many go to law school only to quickly find out that the reality of practicing law is much different than what they've seen in fiction. If you are considering law school, you'll want to ask yourself the questions below before you send in your application.
Do You Want to Go to Law School?
The most important question to ask yourself is if you really want to go to law school. Don't go because you don't know what to do, because your parents want you to go, or even because you think that being a lawyer will make you rich. Go to law school because you're motivated to become a lawyer and because you think you'll be well-suited to the career. Going for any other reason is foolish and will only prepare you for a career that you don't really want.
What Do You Want to Do?
It's important to know what you want to do with your degree when you graduate. While the media might make practicing law look glamorous, the truth is that most legal jobs require a great deal of reading and writing with very little time in court. In fact, you're probably going to be doing something that looks more like the average corporate cubicle job than what you've seen on television. Your days will be spent tracking down link building services to build a client base and looking through old case files, so be sure that you're not looking at law just because you're interested in doing something glamorous.
What Motivates You?
Are you self-motivated? If not, going to law school is going to be difficult. You'll be expected to spend many long nights studying the law, giving up on your other social commitments so that you can stay on pace with your classes and climb up the ranks of your cohort. If you are the type of person who is driven by an innate desire to succeed, law school may well be the perfect environment for you. If you don't have that drive, though, you're going to be faced with the incredibly difficult task of making it through the next three years.
What Do You Want Your Life to Look Like?
It's important to remember that law is an incredibly demanding field, one that's going to require much more of your time than you expect. While you'll have to concentrate on studying in law school, you'll be expected to do much more when you're actually practicing. If you work with a law firm, you should realize that even working a forty hour week will be considered taking it easy. If you're willing to put in the time, the early years of practice can be a great way to get involved with the field. You must realize, though, that your work-life balance will always have to be weighted in favor of work.
What Are You Willing to Pay?
Finally, take a look at the money factor. It should come as no surprise that law school is expensive, but you should also realize that not every lawyer makes a fantastic amount of money. Not every law student finds a job right after graduation, and even those who do can find themselves paying more towards student loans than their retirement accounts for years to come.
Law school is stressful and difficult, but it's ultimately quite rewarding for those who go in knowing what they want to do and understanding the burden that they're taking on themselves. If you can answer all of the questions above and still feel comfortable with the choice, you may be a great candidate for law school. While not everyone is suited for the field, those who are will find law school to be the gateway into a fantastic new field.