Law School Discussion

Is Law School Worth It?

Is Law School Worth It?
« on: July 07, 2006, 07:45:37 PM »
I'm 29 and working as a professional in the financial industry making pretty decent money (around $50k after bonuses).  I just took the LSAT and scored 159, BA in English with a GPA around 3.4 if I remember correctly 7 years ago.  I'm sure I can get into a school in my city that has an evening part time program and it is decently respected (ranked around 90) and the only one in my area that has a part time program.

After reading these boards I'm concerned that upon graduation I'll be making just the same amount of money but with a huge debt to pay off.  I am pretty confident I will do decently in school but do you really need to graduate in the top 5% of your class to reach beyond a middle class salary? 

tenth8sphere

Re: Is Law School Worth It?
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2006, 08:12:09 PM »
The best advice would be to check the information from your school in terms of how much its graduates make. See what the median is, also the highest and lowest, this should give you some idea. Also be aware that some people think the numbers are slightly 'inflated', but they probably mark the general area.

Also keep in mind law school is three years PLUS debt (even if you go evening, you'll likely take some hit in income), so you're taking a hit not only in terms of debt, but in terms of income. If you're already making 50k, and are looking at a school around 90, then I'm not SURE it would be worth it just looked at as a financial venture. If you only want more money, not a love of law, etc, then you might be losing out in the transaction.

What school specifically are you looking at going to? Check its stats, and that should help guide you a little better.

Re: Is Law School Worth It?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2006, 06:26:51 AM »
Is it worth it as solely a financial proposition?  That depends on what kind of law you want to practice.  At a big firm, quite possibly it'll be a good financial proposition.  But if you want to do government/public interest work, then you probably won't make a good return on your investment.

If you have a passion for law, and you really want to be an attorney, then yes, it could be worth it.

Re: Is Law School Worth It?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2006, 11:34:03 AM »
I agree with lalala... Go to law school because you want to be an attorney, or maybe because you don't want to dig ditches or work for the carnival, but not for money...

Re: Is Law School Worth It?
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2006, 12:35:56 PM »
I want to go to law school frankly because I'm bored with what I do now.  The real advancement paths I have are management or sales, both which are not interesting to me.  I'm actually hoping that I will be able to use my experience and (as dull as it may sound) focus on insurance/business law since what I enjoy about my job is the technical details, and possibly the trademark/copyright side of IP since I don't have BA in one of the hard sciences but I do with with a lot of technology and really enjoy that field.  What I'm afraid of is that due to the rank of the school I'm applying to my income will not be enough to pay off the debt.  How much does prior work experience really help when all is said and done?  Is working while going to school an advantage when it comes to looking for a job?

Re: Is Law School Worth It?
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2006, 12:39:34 PM »
You wish to enter law school because you're bored?  So you want to venture into the law because you simply feel, without actually conducting some investigation to see if it's true, that the legal field is extremely interesting?  I hate to break this to you, but I don't think there is any field in which there is more tedium and boredom than in the legal field.  You really need to investigate what it's like to be an attorney, and not assume that this field will alleviate your boredom. 

Try volunteering at law firms, interview lawyers and ask them what they feel are the pros and cons of the legal field, sit in on a law-school class, etc.  If after doing any of these things you find you don't like what you see/hear, then you'll know whether the law is really for you.  I think you owe it to yourself, not to mention your wallet, to know what you're getting yourself into before you invest 3 years and thousands of dollars into something that you may come to find that you absolutely abhor.

Re: Is Law School Worth It?
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2006, 12:44:21 PM »
Bored as in not intellectually challenged.  I expect law to be tedious at times but also challenging, which is why I'm interested. 

tenth8sphere

Re: Is Law School Worth It?
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2006, 01:51:00 PM »
I agree with lalala... Go to law school because you want to be an attorney, or maybe because you don't want to dig ditches or work for the carnival, but not for money...

*L* I thought you were being a semi-smartass until I read the previous poster's name.

Re: Is Law School Worth It?
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2006, 02:52:10 PM »

[...] but do you really need to graduate in the top 5% of your class to reach beyond a middle class salary? 


Unfortunately yes!


[...] or maybe because you don't want to dig ditches or work for the carnival, but not for money...


Sometimes you are really funny (and frighteningly truthful), jason! 


I think you owe it to yourself, not to mention your wallet, to know what you're getting yourself into before you invest 3 years and thousands of dollars into something that you may come to find that you absolutely abhor.


Now, I don't have to add anything else to this post! 

Re: Is Law School Worth It?
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2006, 03:30:38 PM »