Amidst the recent flurry of articles about the crushing debt and terrible job market associated with law school, prospective law school students may find themselves thinking: Should I even bother?
Well, yes–that is, if and only if you are passionate about the law, and think you will be able to gain admission to a relatively high-ranking law school.
Don’t go to law school just because you’ve graduated from college and don’t know what to do with yourself. Law school costs about 60k a year, or 180,000 total, and there’s no reason to accumulate that kind of debt unless you know there’s at least a decent chance you’ll be able to pay it off.
That leads to our second point: Do try to get into the best law school you can, especially in this legal job market. All law schools cost about the same (that 60k a year), and the better the law school, the higher the chance you have of obtaining a decent job after graduation, and therefore of paying off that fairly massive student debt. This is why it’s crucial to achieve the highest LSAT score you can–because law school admissions is based almost entirely on GPA and LSAT scores.
One sidenote: There’s a current movement in the U.S. to reduce law school to two years rather than three, which would decrease the cost and the time spent in school before you can get a job. At the moment, the most prestigious of these accelerated J.D. programs is probably Northwestern’s.