Sunday, May 07, 2006

Should I go to law school?

I'm very happy that I decided to go to law school. However, there are times where I've wondered if it was the best choice, or what I really wanted to do. I know I'm not the only one, and I know there are many who have gone through law school only to decide they don't want to be lawyers, or don't even want to use their law degree, for that matter. I now know better where I want to practice (that is to say I've narrowed down by figuring out where I DON'T want to practice).

So, I figured I'd offer up advice to anyone who typed in the title into google or yahoo. Law school is a serious commitment; something that can really narrow your career options. As such, it's not something you should "just do." Think about it. I mean, really, think about it. If you are on the fence, or anywhere leaning toward not wanting to go to law school, then perhaps you shouldn't. If you have your mind set on going to one law school, then do you really want to be a lawyer, or do you want to have a law degree from X school? Seriously, if you'd rather be a "Notre Dame Law Student" than a "Law student," then perhaps law isn't the right path for you. Ultimately what law school does is give you connections and job opportunities. The degree itself is the same anywhere, whether you matriculate at South Texas College of Law, or Samford or University of Idaho or Yale. Your reputation will be what you make it. If you can't get that, then perhaps you need to find a different way to spend the next three years of your life. You'll be happier in the long run.

4 comments:

Bruce said...

aw, man - there you go, ruining my dream of going to law school 'just for fun'!

On a more serious note, a good reason for me *not* to go to law school is so Gina can have the law as her area of expertise, as I have computers as mine. I believe its good for our marital bliss to not overlap too much - no point in triggering our hypercompetitive tendencies if we don't have to...

Michelle said...

I used to think the American way of studying law was a much better idea. These days though, i think Oz has the better system. By studying the American way, you are "locked in". The Oz way, because we don't go to "law school" and attend University ( our degrees for law are longer than 3 years and depending on what you want to practice, and if you wish to become a barrister or not), if you decide 12 months through, or 2 years through, law is not for you, you can use those subjects as credit points and roll over to a different degree if you wish.
Also, law at different Unis here, can conjure up prestige depending on where you go.

Bellejar said...

I think I would have become a pediatrician if I had it all to do again. I loved law school. I don't really like the practice of law, and now I am moving more toward doing other things.

English Professor said...

One of my fellow English grads is a lawyer who practiced for a few years and hated it. Now he's specializing in Rhetoric, particularly Argument Theory. Hopefully this will turn out better for him.