Friday, November 30, 2012

Thinking about law school?

Law school and the dream of being a lawyer is at the point where any potential student should stop and think. Being a lawyer is not the same as it was years ago. Less than 60% of recent law school grads are employed full time as lawyers. Salaries have fallen by almost $10,000. However, if you think long term, a law degree can be lucrative and open doors in the future. Keep in mind the average law school graduate debt is close to $100,000.

Having a law degree does open up more opportunities. Becoming and agent of professionals and doing contract law is certainly a possibility. You don't just have to practice law in the courtroom. The job market is very competitive at the moment, not to mention the fact that law school is expensive. Here's what you need to consider if you are thinking about a law degree.

The cost is prohibitive for most students. A law degree can cost upwards of $200,000. Will you be able to afford those payments? Can you live rather cheaply for a few years after graduating? The cost is the biggest factor.

Are you really cut out to be a lawyer? It's not like TV or the movies. Meet current, active lawyers and shadow them. Find out exactly what being a real lawyer is like. You may find that practicing law is not as great as it's cracked up to be.

You have got to choose the right school. Not all schools are the same. Accreditation and the percent of grads that pass state BAR exams are big factors. You should pick a law school in the same state a you wish to practice. Do some research as to whether that state actually has a need for more lawyers and is seeing hiring growth.

Your grades will matter. How good of a student are you? Are you an A student? Can you become one? Grades and jobs are very related in the law profession.

Can you use your law degree in other ways that do not involve being a traditional lawyer? The more options you have, the better.

>> Read more: Law school admission tips and scholarships.