Reasons to Avoid Law School; Reasons to Still Go
Here’s a list compiled by an individual of the Top 8 Reasons to Avoid Law School. Among the reasons are the obvious ones:
“1. FINANCIAL SUICIDE –
Law school is unjustifiably expensive!! If you have a house – sell it . . . The money spent on law school loans is ridiculous. . .
4. THE BAR EXAM IS BRUTAL –
This exam is 2 to 3 days long, and you are asked “Analytical Reasoning Questions” which is a fancy way of saying “You will never be asked these nonsensical nonsense questions again for the rest of your life” questions. . . Plus, if you fail (nearly 50% of us will – well, actually around 43% overall will fail, but that’s a lot!!) you have the option of torturing yourself for the next 6 months to take the exam again. . .
5. TOP JOBS ARE HARD TO COME BY-
Working at the top law firms is one of the most competitive jobs in the entire country . . . Don’t forget, you need to be in the top 20 LAW SCHOOLS and score in the top 5% for these big-wig top law firms to even look at you.
6. INSANE HOURS –
Practicing law is usually a 70 hour work week for budding lawyers fresh out of school. Prepare to spend all your nights in the office – weekends and holidays as well. Primarily, you’ll be doing EVERYTHING and handing off huge case files for the “real” lawyers at the firm (that’s right, all the work – none of the glory.) Average time spent before becoming managing partner? Approximately 22 years from your start date. OUCH!!”
So, of course, some of these things are slightly inaccurate and exaggerated. Bar passage rate in Pennsylvania these days is pretty reasonable (83 percent for July 2008’s exam). Many folks from non-Top 20 schools (and who are not in the Top 5 percent) work for the city’s best big firms. And it’s really only 65 hour work weeks for first years. . .
Regardless though, the flip side of the coin are that there are still plenty of good reasons to GO to law school:
1. THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST STILL GET GOOD JOBS
if you go to a premier law school and/or if you do very well, you’ll have good, well-paying job offers waiting for you. Sure, some large firms are either deferring first year start dates or even cancelling summer associate programs. Still, if you’re at the top, you will get good job offers.
2. THE INEVITABLE UPSWING
The market goes in cycles. Things go up, things go down, and vice versa. If you start law school this fall or next fall, by the time you are looking for summer associate or full time jobs, the economy could have turned all the way around.
3. THE NOBILITY OF LAW SCHOOL
Call me a fool, but there is still a noble element to going to law school and learning to help the poor, unfortunate and victims navigate through the legal world. “Good” law jobs are not simply limited to associate positions at big firms. Working in the District Attorney’s Office, as a public defender, in public interest positions, or even as a solo practitioner can all be considered “successful.”