ato308 wrote:I was just offered $63,000 a year with Siemens when I complete my undergrad degree in May. The only problem is I've always wanted to be a lawyer; I find the law and politics interesting.
I was wondering with the law job market being highly saturated at the moment, along with the average salary of a lawyer being around 65k, and also the fact that your coming out of law school in financial debt/stress ( 250k+ not including housing and other expenses.) Is law school even worth it?
Aside from the issues of market saturation/risk of unemployment or underemployment, costs (including lost opportunity costs), student loan repayments (which hurt!) and so forth, I would add that one can find the law and politics interesting, yet find the practice of law uninteresting, as I am sure many, many thousands of political-science-students-turned-law-student-turned-lawyer can attest. So, I would suggest you really think about why you have "always wanted to be a lawyer" in some more specific terms.
I highly recommend getting some work experience, if the job at Siemens interests you then go for it. If not, somewhere else. Not only will that expose you more to the working world, but likely you will in your travels meet more practicing lawyers (rather than 0L's or law students with stars in their eyes) and as you get to know yourself a lot more, have a better idea of what kind of law practice (if any) interests you.
If after a few years you really want to go into law, go for it. I promise that if it is important to you, you will find a way to go. If you don't as you decide it is not for you, no harm done - you will have saved a lot of money, years and progressed further in whatever career path you have found you do enjoy.
I am not at all disparaging of the law. I have been practicing a handful of years and think going back to law school was one of the best things I did for myself as I genuinely enjoy the practice of law and my legal career thus far, but I am very thankful I worked a few years before going back (even though I "thought" I wanted to be a lawyer before I even started undergrad) as I expect my career satisfaction would have been a lot lower without that "break" to figure out more what I really wanted when I said I "wanted to be a lawyer", and to figure out what sort of law I wanted to go into (and where) which was dramatically different than I would have chosen fresh out of undergrad.
I have seen many of my former classmates who went straight from undergrad already burning out, miserable and/or leaving the profession as they went to law school with very little understanding of what they really wanted as a career and what they hoped to find by being a lawyer (aside from a decent paying job and what I would describe as "prestige" - which may or may not be attainable). So, they either ended up practicing in an area that did not fit for them, or in an entire profession that did not fit for them and it shows in their attitude, work, overall life. There are a couple who went back who are also leaving, but far fewer of those than the former described group.