What Factored into Your Decision to ATtend Law School?

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scifiguy
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Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:41 pm

What Factored into Your Decision to ATtend Law School?

Postby scifiguy » Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:43 pm

I'm wondering what people's decision making was like for attending law school? I'm a junior and about to begin LSAT prep this coming January, as I'm also weighing whether to attend law school or not. Also looking into other graduate school fields and also possibly just working instead as well.

I'm just wondering what was behind other people's decision to attend law school? Did your parents put any pressure on you? Did you always want to become a lawyer as a kid? How much of the pros and cons did you weigh? How long did your decision process take?

And if I was your child, what would you tell me about the decision to attend or not knowing what you know now? Thanks so m uch!

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DougieFresh
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Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:26 pm

Re: What Factored into Your Decision to ATtend Law School?

Postby DougieFresh » Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:26 pm

I guess you could put me in the "wanted to be a lawyer since a kid" category. I grew up reading John Grisham (cliche, but true) and always dreamed about some day being a lawyer and making a difference in the world.

You are wise to weigh whether or not to attend law school. This site is a valuable resource in your quest to find information and resources on whether law school is right for you, and if so, how to maximize your chances of getting in to a top school.

Being around this site, my thinking has changed from "What do I want to do?" to "What can I do?" A lot of people want to work for Human Rights Watch or the ACLU, but going to a school the "specializes in social justice/public service" isnt going to get you there. Going to a top school and performing well is going to put you in the best position to realize your dreams, whatever they may be.

Being employed is a very real dream for lots of JDs right now. Check out Law School Transparency, and look at any school you are applying to. Familiarize yourself with terms like JD prefered employment, underemployment, and unemployment. Think positive but be realistic. Numbers arent everything, but they tell a lot.

What are your dreams? There are plenty of regional schools with managable tuition and low cost of living. I am from a small midwestern market, and you will see most (70%) of the lawyers working at firms are from the State Law School.

That being said, I am retaking the LSAT next June to give myself more options than that route, should I decide not to. Your undergraduate GPA and LSAT scores are HUGELY important and you need to focus on getting the highest numbers you possibly can.

Who do you know that is currently doing what you want to do? Seek out attorneys who are practicing in the fields you are interested in. Ask them what advice they would have for an undergrad who is thinking about law school (be prepared to hear: dont go to lawschool almost every time).

There is no rush to get a legal education! Im 26 years old and took time off to travel, worked for a non-profit, and am currently a Peace Corps Volunteer. Once you make the decision to start law school, you are making a huge commitment.

So, hypothetical son, to recap:

    -Think about your legal goals.
    -Look at the numbers.
    -Talk to people who are doing what you want to do.
    -Maximize your UGPA and LSAT scores.


Good luck!

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vanwinkle
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Re: What Factored into Your Decision to ATtend Law School?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:39 pm

DougieFresh wrote:There is no rush to get a legal education! Im 26 years old and took time off to travel, worked for a non-profit, and am currently a Peace Corps Volunteer. Once you make the decision to start law school, you are making a huge commitment.

This. Very much this. Enjoy your youth, take some time, develop some skills and experience and personality. Legal employers are starting to value people with prior work experience--just generally, not necessarily law-related--and there's plenty of time to go to law school later.

I wanted to be a lawyer growing up, but I also had familial pressure to go to law school. I waited a few years, until I really felt like I wanted it myself. The time off hasn't hurt me, and if anything it made me a better law student, a better job candidate, and now a better lawyer.

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dingbat
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Re: What Factored into Your Decision to ATtend Law School?

Postby dingbat » Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:52 pm

I had done just about everything I could in my previous career, knocked off some major achievements, got bored and decided I didn't want to be doing that for the rear of my life. I'd considered law for several years as a correlary extension where I could do something different without throwing away all the knowledge and experience I've acquired (I intent to specialize in a particular niche).

My advice: Don't do it. If you just want good money, be an air traffic controller. Plumbers and electricians make as much as many lawyers do. Only go into a demanding profession like law if you know that that's what you want to do. Make sure you really want to be a lawyer (and know what that entails)
Also, work your butt off in fluff classes to boost your GPA




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