For instance, my students choose to go to law school because they want to learn about the legal system, go to court, defend the less fortunate, or to protect our cities and states. Others go to law school possibly to follow in their family’s footsteps or to help with a legal cause of action a family or friend was placed in.
Law students who want to defend the less fortunate, or help their friends, are actually quite rare. Most law students I've met were, frankly, jerks. If they had been interested in helping people, they would have gone into a helping profession like nursing, healthcare, counseling, teaching, social work, therapy, etc. Most of the people I was in law school with had serious character flaws that attracted them to the legal field. Some went there from a place of low self esteem to try and prove something about themselves. Others were overly argumentative and would argue with a brick wall. Some only wanted the prestige and money that they believed they could achieve with a law degree (but few of them actually did). Or, they had an over-active fantasy life and believed that law was an exciting career. Now some of these people are in therapy, some are trying desperately to get into another career field, and most of the rest are unemployed. The few who did achieve success had family members that were lawyers.Do law professors seem like a caring, empathetic group of people to you? I remember confiding in one of my professors that due to financial struggles, I was having difficulty purchasing the book I needed for his course. He simply gave a snort of disgust, and walked away. Let's stop pretending that lawyers truly just want to help people.
That said, I never tested how a prof might respond if I had mentioned my personal financial obstacles and his or her casebook in the same breath. Mercy? Empathy? Not likely. Being a lawyer means figuring it out.
But going to law school with no vision or fundamental purpose for doing so — that's a huge mistake. Law school isn't junior college, where students, especially those right out of high school, often flop from semester to semester with no idea why they're even there. Law school demands focus and commitment. This requires having a goal in mind. Your goal doesn't have to be immutable, but it should be clear in your mind before you take the leap. Otherwise, you're wasting your time and money.