I am hoping someone can offer me some good advice. As I wait to hear from law schools I'm starting to have doubts. I KNOW I want to be an attorney but I also KNOW I want to be a public interest attorney. I currently have a mortgage and I'm starting to have fears about leaving my job, in this economy, based on the possibility that I could be a legal aid attorney.
I understand I need a law degree to be a legal aid attorney but I also know the law degree isn't a guarantee and I don't think I want to practice any other type of law.
I think I'd be more hopeful if I lived in a bigger city with more opportunity but I'd prefer to stay in Iowa.
I don't want to enter law school naive but I don't want to have regrets later..(not attending law school or having mortgage sized debt and still not doing what I want to do)
Aloha, Smart & Unique -
Have you worked in a public interest office? If not, volunteering might be a great way to talk with those in the field able to give you the real story.
In general, your interest is just fine. (And quite commendable!) There are many variables in terms of practical success, especially now. If you've not yet had the opportunity, visit your favorite public-interest offices, and chat. Seriously. Find a lawyer on staff (presumably, in a larger organization), and hear it from their perspective.
As to location, there seems this fascination with cities, but in fact that is not always the most practical route, especially with what might be termed non-traditional law jobs. Check the various agencies in Iowa, and talk with folks there. A salary in Iowa is almost certain to go many times as far as it would elsewhere. (And there's not much use comparing higher salaries in law, as these are usually apples-to-oranges comparisons.)
In short, if you want to be a lawyer, that's exactly the energy you need. Add to that a practical perspective, from practicing lawyers in offices you want to be in.