Only a few people are aware that going to a law school and subsequently becoming a lawyer is an enormous task. We’re talking about the time commitment and the finances required to make a person a lawyer.
So, what should be your motivation to join a law school? Well, we have passion as the first thing – the urge to pass the bar and proceed to argue high-profile cases.
And then there is the money that comes with being a ‘learned friend’. Another hefty perk is social status. Who doesn’t respect and fear lawyers, anyway?
This article brings you 10 good reasons to go to law school, and 5 terrible reasons as well. After you’ve read through the piece, you should be able to confidently decide if a legal career is for you or not. Read on!
Good Reasons to Go to Law School
1. You Get to Know Your Rights
As a lawyer, your work will mainly entail fighting for the rights of those who come to seek your help. But you won’t be in a position to offer them legal aid if you’re not in the knowledge of the fundamental rights of citizens.
Law school instills that knowledge in your brain, to help yourself and others. Ever heard someone say, “Hey, is that legal?” As a legal officer, you’ll come to the rescue with an ‘educated’ answer. Law school helps a person to know their rights as a citizen, employee, tenant, etc., and this knowledge comes in handy before you can make assumptions and cross the line.
2. You Learn Negotiation Skills
We all know that lawyers like arguing a lot, even when it’s apparent that someone or something they are acting for is on the wrong. They negotiate about anything.
Similarly, when you finally graduate from law school, you will, without doubt, be knowing how to argue and negotiate like a pro. Law school will teach you that almost everything is negotiable, including your starting salary. Law school will give you the knowledge to help you see both sides of a story or situation to come up with a counterargument.
3. It Enhances Your Stamina and Intellect
Get this clearly, that law school is not for the faint-hearted. Intellectual curiosity and stamina are in real terms the key ingredients to getting through law school successfully.
You will be studying for longer periods than students in many other fields. Over your stay in law school, you could start to fade as the studies grow more rigorous. Don’t let your spark of intellectual curiosity to fade as well. Take this for free: that law school rewards those who are tenacious and overly inquisitive.
4. Good Reasons to Go to Law School: You Become Independent
Gone are the days of group projects when you join law school. By the end of your course, you will have learned to be self-reliant and to pull your weight.
Although you’ll feel a great sense of community while in school, you will start feeling independent especially if you can figure out things for yourself. Those are the biggest gifts that law school can inadvertently offer you.
5. Making a Difference
Presently, the world is in dire need of people who can make a difference, and lawyers are among those people. As a lawyer, you will be providing legal to those who need it.
You know, even those who have been condemned to a death sentence will rely on your services to get off the hook. This renders lawyers as super-humans in suits and ties- they’re a symbol of hope for the masses. A legal background can help save someone’s life.
6. You Learn to Speak ‘’Legalese”
The same way some people enroll in the military simply because they like the soldier in military fatigue, some people envy the jargon that lawyers use. Going to law school amounts to learning a new language.
You’ll not only learn foreign concepts and theories, but you will also begin learning new terms that you couldn’t imagine without law school. Since your legal dictionary will be your new friend, you will start using such terms as, “amicus curiae” and other jokes. And it will start flowing naturally with practice.
7. High Earning Potential
Most of us wanted to be lawyers simply because these folks are among the highest-paid professionals in the world.
We were not wrong, as the median annual basic salary for all lawyers in the United States is approximately $130,000, though the world’s top lawyers can pull in more than a million dollars in annual income.
8. Law is a Hallmark of Prestige
Pursuing a career in law automatically throws you into prestige. Being a degree with an authority over other degrees, pursuing law prepares you to enter a circle of few elites who command respect and who embody the real definition of success.
The legal industry has many segments, which has led to a broad array of specialists in the legal practice industry.
Some lawyers practice green law, foreclosure law, employment law, civil law, criminal law. This way, joining law school will help you to choose the right path in the industry.
Lawyers have stood at the center of our society for many centuries. They’re in a good position to push for societal changes as thought makers and lawmakers.
They create laws, rule the chambers, and hold positions in governments. They’re even in a unique position to impact leaders and policymakers to effect change around the world.
Bonus Tips: Get the First-hand Experience
Law schools offer legal clinic programs, an approach that exposes students to hands-on experience in legal matters.
It’s not uncommon to find a third-year student working directly with clients. This gives a student a sense of reality concerning what they should expect to handle in the future.
You’re Trained to Be Purposeful
Law school trains students to speak with conviction, write purposefully, and act with poise. This way, you learn to be more intentional with thinking and actions- you begin to think about strategy and outcomes a lot more than you did before joining law school.
There are many good reasons to go to law school. This list is by no means exhaustive. Now, just as there’s a good side to joining the law school, there is also the terrible side. Below, you will find the top 5 terrible reasons for going to law school.
1. It’s a Parental Wish
While parents support you in life-determining endeavors, following their wish when choosing a career is just misguided.
You must understand that it’s you and not your parents who will shoulder the difficult academic burden. They’re also not the ones to hit the road when finding a job. Just like in any other course, choosing a career in law should be a personal decision.
2. You Like Arguing
Another bad reason to go to law school is joining the career simply because you like to argue. You know, there are many aspects to joining a law school than just arguing.
Arguing is something attorneys do the least. First of all, you need to have analytical skills, reading and interpretation skills, writing skills, and a willingness to spend many hours discovering minutia-that is what law is all about.
3. You Madly Want to Help People
Yes, attorneys often help people, and that’s a good thing indeed. But do you require a degree in law to help people? Probably not. There are many available options when it comes to helping people, and public service law is just one of them.
Teaching and voluntary work are also options, so don’t stick to the mentality that studying law is the only way towards helping people. When you decide to choose a career, it helps to engage the services of a professional career advisor.
4. You Want a Glamorous Career
One fact we should contend with has to be that Hollywood has succeeded at distorting the daily lives of lawyers. The reality is that attorneys and other legal practitioners spend many hours in libraries and their office cubicles. They conduct a lot of research. They read a lot and write many extensive briefs.
Television should not make you believe in non-existent things. This isn’t to mean that the practice of law is not a fast-paced job either, but it helps if you get to draw a clear line between television reality and actual reality.
5. You Want Venture into Other Fields
In that case, a business-related degree can serve you best. Have you weighed the law degree against all other options at your disposal?
Well, it isn’t a bad idea to study law, but it can be bad for you to sign up minus sound reasons. You don’t want to spend a lot of money in a field you don’t see yourself practicing in the future.
There you have good reasons to go to law school, and then you also have bad reasons. To sum it all, law school is all about fit and compatibility. You should look at both sides and decide if a career in law is or isn’t for you.