Not sure if you’d be a good fit for a law school? Here’s what you should consider before making that decision.
Should I go to law school? What you need to consider before applying
Finding yourself amidst a career crisis? Don’t worry! You’re not alone. It’s very natural to question the career pathways at this time of life. Here’s the secret no one’s gonna tell: you don’t need to have it all sorted!
If you’re feeling confused and overwhelmed about whether or not you’d be a good fit for a law school, you’ve landed at just the right place to see how you should think it through.
You need to consider various factors before making a final decision. It’s ideal if you make a pros and cons list on a diary or your iPad, whatever works best for you.
Let’s quickly take a look at the checklist of factors that you shouldn’t miss out on:
1. What Are Your Aspirations and Motivations?
Take a walk in the park, or whichever way helps you think the best. Dive into the deepest corner of your mind to see where you see yourself in the next few years. Figure out if you’re genuinely motivated to pursue law or just feeling pressured into it because it sounds like a fancy degree.
This is one of the significant aspects that will help you determine and decide your next step forward.
Next, you should connect your motivation to your goals and see how you’d like to achieve them in the following years.
Pro-tip: Don’t be overly ambitious because this is going to be a life-changing decision for you, so ideally, try and set SMART goals.
Ask yourself rhetorically, where do you see yourself in the next ten years? Is it doing well financially, having a crazy, fun career working as a digital nomad, or is it wearing a suit to court as a lawyer?
2. What’s the current Job Market Situation?
Here’s the next thing you need to consider, is it worth it?
There’s no denying the fact that law schools almost cost you a fortune. You need to take enough time to look at the costs and see the earning potential in the next few years. Will your degree be worth it? That’s something that you’ll have to figure out.
On average, a student pays $50,640 annually at a private law school in the United States. While according to the U.S. BLS, lawyers make around $148,030 on average per year.
Now imagine spending all that money on a degree, only to figure out in practical life that the payout is not enough for you or what you aimed for.
Take some time and do thorough research to see the job descriptions and salary packages. LinkedIn might be the best platform for you to do extensive research on how well your degree will pay off.
Pro tip: Connect with the alums, and ask them about their experience, where they’re working, and the opportunities. That’d help you get a clearer idea.
3. Do a Cost-Benefit Analysis
Another thing you should do is take time to make a pros and cons or a cost-benefit list.
Perhaps prepare a nice cup of cappuccino and ask yourself some questions. These could include:
- Is there something else that you’d rather do?
- The opportunity cost of going to law school
- In how much time can you start making money and step into a practical field
- How much will you learn and grow along your journey
- How many years would it take you, and are you willing to invest that time of your time.
4. Ask Yourself if You’re a Good Fit
One of the most important things you need to do is assess yourself, your scores, and your skills. It’s better to set realistic goals to save yourself from disappointment.
Here are the two things that you can certainly not ignore:
- The LSAT scores
- Your college grades/CGPA
This will help you decide whether or not you should go to law school and also help you narrow down the choices regarding which school you should go to. For instance, if you have a very prestigious law school in mind, but you don’t meet the LSAT score for that yet, it’d be better to take out some time and give it another shot on LSAT to focus on improving your scores rather than jumping into applying to average scores.
5. Do you have the relevant skill set?
Of course, watching SUITS made us secretly wish to ace every case as a lawyer, but let’s be practical.
It’s highly important to analyze and work on your persuasion skills, emotional stability, and research skills. Moreover, you also need to have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills and be good at communication.
Ask yourself if you can work well under pressure and speak confidently in front of a large audience.
After all, the law can be a pretty challenging and overwhelming career; thus, you need to get that ‘thick skin.’
6. What are the funding options available?
It’s always best to plan ahead and think of all the scenarios that could possibly be a hurdle. Financial constraints can indeed be an issue and have a HUGEE role to play in determining your career pathway.
You can look up the loans offered by law schools or funding options based on financial needs or academic merit.
You’ll have to invest proper time to do thorough research. Make sure you go through the individual websites of universities and check their scholarships and fundings page. Yep, you should leave no stone unturned!
7. Wrapping It Up
The last thing you’d want is to feel mehh on your graduation day, thinking ono, what now?
To save yourself from the hassle and that dilemma, reflect on what you’d want to do after you graduate. Do you want to work at the firms, be a part of the judiciary, join a legal department for business as their legal advisor, or are you someone who’s motivated to serve the public and wants to work with government agencies?
This will also help you not only decide whether or not you want to go to law school but also make it easier for you to choose the electives if you make up your mind to go to law school.
Pro-tip: A great way to clear any confusion might be doing an internship. Once you’re in the field or doing some practical work, you’ll get a better idea of whether you’re a good fit.
8. Summing it Up!
Now that you have a checklist of factors, you must consider paying special attention to them. Take out ample time to research thoroughly, and reach out to alums to inquire about the job market and any confusion you may have. Lastly, listen to your heart and take time to figure out your passion so that you can make an informed decision!
Of course, it’s going to be challenging, but if you wanna be the next Harvey Specter, it’s your time to shine!
Best of luck!