I am another philosophy MA student at a top-ranked program (according to Leiter's Gourmet Report). I graduated from college in the spring of 2010, and I am currently applying to law schools right now. Attending my philosophy MA program was one of the best decisions of my life, but please allow me to add my two-cents into the conversation:
1. My MA program has taught me invaluable critical thinking and analytic skills
that I would not have been able to learn anywhere else. I have learned to be a much more clear and coherent writer, I am sure these skills will serve me well in law school.
2. I received full funding for my studies
, and I definitely don't think it's a good idea for anyone to borrow money to pay for a master's degree. In fact, my program pays me to teach undergraduate classes, so I will end up making a profit by the time I graduate. Additionally, I only spend about 20 hours a week teaching/studying at this program, so I am able to work part-time at another job (my hope is to have a few thousand dollars saved away by the time I start law school, which will definitely be a HUGE help) - and law schools love to see applicants that have some kind of work experience.
3. The time spent in my MA program has allowed me to become a more mature and focused individual
: I know many people benefit from taking time off before law school, and these two years have been critical for me in terms of my personal growth. This time off also allowed me to spend eight months studying for the LSAT (my score went up 16 points during this time).
4. The work I have done for my MA thesis has allowed me to explore an area of public policy and applied ethics that I would one day like to pursue professionally through my career in the law
. If ethics and political philosophy are your passion (as they are for me), you will definitely enjoy the opportunity to engage in hands-on research in these fields.
I hope my perspective is helpful and insightful; if you have any specific questions about applying to MA programs feel free to PM me. I definitely recommend reading Leiter's summary of MA programs
(it is a few years old, but the information is still very relevant).