Many people dream about becoming a lawyer because law plays such a pivotal role in our world. A career in law allows you to shape so many facets of our society from public to private industries.
While law school training and a JD can confer numerous benefits, law school is not for everyone. Law school is an expensive investment in terms of both time and money. While a JD from a good law school drastically increases one's earning power, earning power is not the most important aspect of life. Only you can decide if you actually want to be a lawyer, or at least learn to think like a lawyer. If you are not planning on working in a firm, are you comfortable living with your law school loans for the foreseeable future? Furthermore, law school can be a trying experience for people. The work load can be intense, as can the competition between students. Furthermore, the skills required to do well in law school – logical thinking, argumentation, legal writing – are often not those necessarily required to do well in university. It is often said that one's first year at law school is similar to learning a new language. So, imagine doing a large amount of work, being forced to think on your feet in class, and competing with other students, all in a foreign language.
After three grueling years of black-letter law and Socratic method, graduating law students receive a JD, or Juris Doctor. A JD is not only a piece of paper that signals to the world that you have been trained to think like a lawyer, but also, combined admission to the Bar, and entrance into a professional guild. While most JDs go on to become practicing lawyers at law firms, many also go on to work in universities, build businesses, or work in non-profit organizations, corporations, and government departments.
A law school education offers many benefits which balance the drawbacks.
To name a few:
Learning to Think Like a Lawyer
Just like doing well on the LSAT, thinking like a lawyer is a skill that can be taught and learned. Being able to look at ideas and arguments in terms of how they are structured is an invaluable skill. Law school will teach you how to understand the building blocks of logical reasoning and provide you the tools necessary to build arguments of your own. Furthermore, the teaching method law schools are so famous for – the Socratic method – will broaden your reasoning, analytical, and thinking skills in a way that few other experiences can.
Future Earnings Potential
Undoubtedly one of the most visible advantages of law school is the potential to work for a law firm upon graduation and earn more money than you could likely earn without the degree. While law firm work is not for everyone, many people thrive on the fast-paced competitive lifestyle as well as the material rewards that lifestyle offers. Speak to lawyers, and paralegals to help you understand the opportunities and lifestyle changes this degree can bring you.
Writing and Research Skills
Few academic disciplines stress the importance of good writing as much as legal academia. Law school provides an opportunity to truly learn what clean, concise, and comprehensible writing looks like. Legal research is also an important tool, not only for lawyers, but for anyone interested in understanding the laws they live by and how those laws are applied.
Exposure to A Broad Range of Available Fields
A JD is one of the most versatile post-graduate degrees one can earn. A JD can open doors not only to the world of law practitioners, but also the world of business, international trade and finance, public policy, and much more. Law school can introduce you to careers you may never have considered previously. Many schools provide access to summer internships that allow students to be exposed to fields they would otherwise not have a chance to explore.