Applying to law school is a big decision, one that many people often make without much thought. Unfortunately, these people often end up being unhappy because it turns out their interests lie elsewhere. So how do you decide if the legal world is right for you?
The Cost of Your Education
If your only goal is a high salary, you might want to think twice about going to law school. If you don’t like the idea of working in the legal world, no salary will compensate for disliking your job. But if you’re passionate about it, go for it. When you’re choosing a school, affordability should play a role. But don’t just go with the cheapest place. Ask your target schools what the employment rates are for their recent graduates. Some schools have better employment rates than others. Look for one that has a good track record of job placement.
Taking out private student loans will give you a greater number of schools to choose from. Often, loans are credit-based, and if you don’t have a credit history, you might need to have a cosigner. The good news is that even if your parents can’t help, it’s still possible to take out student loans without a cosigner. So even if you maxed out your federal loans, you can still afford graduation. Compare the necessary amount of debt you need to pay for your degree with the starting salaries of recent grads. Even if your dream school costs more now, it can be a profitable investment in the long run.
Who is a Good Fit?
A legal career is best if you’re an enthusiastic debater and like taking part in arguments. You shouldn’t be offended by other viewpoints. To be successful, you’ll need to have thick skin and be able to come up with clever solutions for issues. That’s especially true if you can stick to core principles such as accountability, equality, and impartiality. If you’re a risk-taker, you will likely do well in a legal profession. Lawyers who win the biggest cases have often taken a big case, even knowing they might fail. And don’t be afraid that you won’t always get everything right. Failure helps you learn how to be a great lawyer.
Look at Your Reasons for Attending
Just because you can get into law school doesn’t mean you should, especially if you just see it as something to do after college. If you get a job in the legal field, you might end up with inconsistent hours, and you need to be detail-oriented to succeed. Still, if you like communicating with and learning from others and are interested in justice, social, and economic issues, you might be a good fit. You have to put a lot of time and effort forth to successfully graduate. You have to be able to focus to pass your courses and do well in your chosen career. Talk to other people who have attended law school so you can better learn about the profession. Remember, just because you study one area of law doesn’t mean you have to be tied to it for the rest of your career.