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Is law school worth it?

A letter writer is thinking about their college major – and has a bunch of questions. 

Our elder has some good news: you don’t have to make a decision right now. Keep an open mind.

 

Dear EWC

Hi! I’m a high school student who needs to make a decision about my college major pretty soon, and I’m on the fence of taking law. I really like debating; I’m a critical thinker and I love reading about crime and watching documentaries on criminals. However, I did some research and found out that a lot of law students as well as lawyers don’t recommend kids nowadays to take law as it’s extremely competitive and challenging and apparently not worth it since the income won’t be as great as everyone says it will be. I’m very confused and I don’t know what to do or which major to choose, so I’d like advice (as detailed as possible) from someone who has experience in that field 🙂 What should someone who wants to go into this field know before applying to law school? What are some pros and cons? Do you think it’s worth it? Thank you so much for your time.

 

Hedwig replies

You are so lucky that you do not need to decide right this minute. Law school follows four years of college, so there is no rush. The best thing about college is that it is a time for investigating possible career choices. In fact, for the first two years at most colleges, you would be taking basic classes so that you would be prepared for any choice you make. This is also a time for stepping out of your comfort zone and taking some appealing electives. Keep an open mind.

Another thing is that very few people start college and end up on their original road. In my own family, for instance:

My daughter wanted to be a veterinarian and became a psychiatrist.

Her husband wanted to be a pharmacist and ended up a veterinarian.

Their daughter was absolutely sure she wanted to be a chef, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in this field and then changed her mind, went back to grad school and became an elementary school teacher. And I could go on and on.

Now, as to making money. Some lawyers become millionaires; some can barely pay their bills. This depends on the branch of law they study, how skilled they are and how hard they work – and this is true of nearly every field. You can be a rich dentist, or a poor one, a rich accountant or a poor one. Your success will depend on you.

However, making big bucks is not the best, or only goal. How about job satisfaction? Do you want to get up in the morning, ready and eager to go to work? Or do you want to put your head back under the pillow and hide?

So, here is my advice for right now. Take a look at your accomplishments in school. Where do you do well and where are you less interested? Get as good grades as you can because that will open many college doors. Take some extracurricular subjects that interest you. Look around and if you see a career that looks appealing, investigate it. See if you could shadow someone who has that kind of work and see what it is like. Read books on the profession. Talk with your teachers and school counselors. Gather information and keep in mind that you can start down one road, and if you don’t like it, you can switch to another. You have time to decide, use it wisely and also keep in mind that just as there is no perfect person to marry, there is also no perfect job. There are many that you might study and enjoy. It is all a great adventure. Take a deep breath and enjoy it.

Article #: 471779

Category: Career

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