I was just like you. I would catch myself daydreaming about being in a courtroom, passionately arguing on behalf of my client at a high-stakes trial. I picked up the LSAT prep books and re-read the strategies to maximize my score. Hell, I even watched the television shows (The Practice being my favorite).
Ever since college, I became intrigued with the idea of going to law school and becoming a hotshot lawyer in a big city. The thought of basically playing mental chess for a living just seemed cool. It didn’t hurt that the compensation could be generous. And if practicing law didn’t work out, I could always leverage my law degree when transitioning into another career.
I enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in fall 2011, graduated in 2014, and began working as a litigation associate at a so-called “Big Law” firm in New York City. Nearly six years after I began my adventures in law, I can say that it was worth it. Law school is a mental boot camp, and the experience taught me skills that I have used in professional practice. It certainly is a challenge, but a positive challenge that forces you to get out of your comfort zone.
Having said this, the decision to attend law school is one that should not be made lightly. Even if the best-case scenario occurs, there are costs and consequences to this decision. You not only have to consider the prospects of six-figure debt, but the real possibility of being unable to find a legal job after graduation. Further, if you opt to attend, you are devoting three precious years of your life to studying law. Only you can determine whether the expected benefit of law school exceeds the opportunity costs of these three years. But in order to determine your expected benefit, you need a foundation to analyze the most important elements of this decision.
Therefore, I designed my course Deciding on Law School in order to offer information I wish I had when I was thinking about attending law school. It is often the case for prospective law students to make their decision based on intuition and feeling, as opposed to facts and logical analysis. But the stakes are too high to justify the decision based on emotion. I hope to make the essential facts clear to you, both in the course and through periodic blog posts.
So I invite you to check back for my most recent blog posts on the law school decision. I’m looking forward to offering my insights at this exciting time in your life!