However, many applicants feel more confident about their decision to attend law school if they have taken time off, and only about one-third of law students enter directly from college. If you know that you want to attend law school, and you’re eager to start, then by all means, apply. There are significant benefits to delaying your application to law school beyond the obvious one: more time to consider your career options and whether you want to pursue a legal career.
Your application is more competitive at many schools if you have work experience. For instance, when Martha Minow took over as dean of Harvard Law School in 2009, she instructed the admissions office to “give extra weight to applicants with experience since college.” Only 19% of the class of 2017 entering Harvard Law matriculated straight out of college. With only 16 percent of the class of 2020 matriculating straight out of college in 2017, the Yale admissions office demonstrated a similar preference for prior experience.
Time off allows students the chance to raise their GPAs and develop close bonds with professors who write recommendations during their senior year. Students frequently experience difficulties adjusting to college life, which causes uncharacteristically poor grades during the first year. Students can use a strong senior year performance to make up for their low grades and give themselves a “positive trajectory” story to justify that freshman “C.” Additionally, college seniors typically have more access to intimate seminars where they can get to know their professors.
Last but not least, keep in mind that if you attend law school, you will probably practice law for the rest of your career. In its “Entering Class Profile” of the Class of 2020, Yale Law proudly notes that members include a professional blues guitarist, carillonneur, rock climber, and metalworker, as well as volunteers from Teach for America, AmeriCorps, and the Peace Corps. And as Stanford Law School’s associate dean of admissions Faye Deal put it, “Law schools will be around for a long time, but that other thing you’re thinking about might not,” perhaps you’d like to try something along those lines. ”.
Should You Go to Law School
3 reasons to go to law school
You should think about attending law school for the reasons listed below:
1. You want to become a lawyer
It’s crucial to conduct thorough research to fully comprehend what it means to be a lawyer. This might entail conducting legal research, reading legal journals, participating in a job or internship in the legal industry, and engaging in other relevant activities. This is frequently a good justification for attending law school if, after spending a lot of time investigating and learning about the legal profession, you still want to practice law.
2. You want to make a positive impact
There are numerous opportunities to enhance the lives of others as a lawyer. A career in law is a fantastic way to help people, whether you work as a child advocate or a civil rights attorney.
3. You want a range of career opportunities
Beyond becoming a lawyer, pursuing a law degree can lead to a number of other career opportunities. Examples include becoming a judge, a law professor, a legal clerk, or a politician.
Who should go to law school?
There is a significant personal and financial investment required to attend law school. This is particularly true if you decide to enroll in law school and then, after completing your studies, decide against pursuing a career in law. For this reason, before pursuing this career path, you should carefully consider whether attending law school is the right choice for you.
A few common traits that lawyers often share include:
In addition, aspiring attorneys must have the capacity to function well under pressure and make important decisions with ease. Without these crucial traits, aspiring attorneys may discover they do not enjoy their work and are unlikely to succeed in doing so.
3 reasons to reevaluate law school
Although there are many good reasons to think about going to law school, you shouldn’t do it for the incorrect ones:
1. You want to make a lot of money
Although being a lawyer can be lucrative, a high salary isn’t always a given in this profession. In actuality, many lawyers earn salaries that are comparable to those of other professions that are less demanding on their time and education. Lawyers who do earn a good living put their personal lives on hold for their careers by working 80 or more hours per week and rarely taking vacations.
2. Your family wants you to go to law school
People who have parents or other relatives who are lawyers frequently feel pressured to enroll in law school themselves. Although knowing someone in your family who works in law is a great way to learn more about the field, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this is the best career choice for you.
3. You dont know what else to do
Choosing a career path can be challenging, especially if you’re almost finished with your bachelor’s degree and are unsure of your future plans. However, choosing to attend law school merely because you lack any other options is not the best motivation to pursue a career in law.
How to determine if you should go to law school
To decide if attending law school is the right choice for you, consider the following questions:
Law school FAQs
The following are responses to some common queries about attending law school:
Is it worth it to go to law school?
A lengthy process involving years of study and coursework is required to become a lawyer. Getting into law school can be challenging, but it’s necessary to earn a law degree and pursue various related career paths. To obtain your license in some states, you may decide that law school isn’t for you and take the bar exam without it. Currently, only Washington, Vermont, California, and Virginia permit this; in the remaining states, you can practice law without a juris doctorate but still need some legal training.
How long does it take to complete law school?
If you enroll full-time, most law school programs last three years to complete. There are some part-time law programs available, and they can take four or more years to complete. You must complete a bachelor’s degree and pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) before you can enroll in law school.
What kind of classes will I take in law school?
Throughout law school, you can anticipate taking a number of common courses, such as contracts, torts, civil procedure, criminal law, and legal methods. Before enrolling in law school, you might take college courses in communication, close reading, statistics, data science, American history, and government.
Why going to law school is a good idea?
Being in a position of prestige provides satisfaction to attorneys and law students. Many law students and lawyers are excited about the prospect of working for a famous client or in a renowned law firm because they hope to be respected by other professionals.
Why should I not go to law school?
Law school is expensive and the prices keep going up. Living expenses, which are rising along with school costs, account for a sizable portion of the student debt incurred by law students.
What is a good GPA to get into law school?
The likelihood of being taken into consideration by the Law School Admission Council increases with higher LSAT scores. Many applicants to law schools who received admissions offers submitted applications with median LSAT scores of 163 and GPAs of 3. 5 and higher.
Is it worth it to go to law school?
In 2019, the top 10% of attorneys earned a median annual salary of more than $208,000. Some recent law school graduates choose not to practice law in order to have a better work-life balance. You can work in a variety of legal-related roles and with a law degree, and having a J D. may be an asset.