If you haven’t done so yet, find a lawyer who will let you follow them around for a day just so you can get an idea of what life that kind of lifestyle might be like for you.
Becoming a lawyer is certainly an attractive option. Lawyers can have a real impact on the lives of ordinary people, change the actions of large companies, and even affect government policy makers. On top of this, the profession is widely respected and well paid, with a range of potential career paths and specializations. If you’ve finished your bachelor’s degree and you want to become a lawyer then you’ll need to go to law school. This move will prepare you for professional life in this industry and culminate in your bar exams which will allow you to practice with the state’s approval. But, before you sign up and rush off to law school, here are some important questions you should ask yourself.
Can I Afford It?
Law school tuition is not cheap, although the exact costs vary depending on where you are applying to. A public school might charge around $30,000 a year in tuition, whilst a private institution could charge nearer $50,000. These costs are not reason to give up on your career plans though. First, there are plenty of grants, scholarships and assistantship positions available for those applying to law school. If you want to study but you don’t have the money right now, you should apply to as many of these institutions as possible. On top of this, you may qualify for government loans and grants, which can be applied for separately. If, after these application processes, you’re still not financially secure, it is worth considering a reputable student loans company. You might be surprised by the flexible payment options.
Can I Finish?
This may seem like an odd question but you need to seriously consider it as thousands of students drop out of college every year. If you’re tired after your first degree, it might be best to take a short break for a year and take on a job in the legal field that isn’t too demanding but one that will still give you some industry experience. You could get a position in the paralegal field or get a job as a legal secretary.
On top of considering how you feel, it’s worth thinking about motivation. Law school is a demanding place. You will have to work hard alongside intelligent and capable peers. Spending a year of your degree focusing on sport and social events rather than academics is not going to be an option. It is a more professional environment and whilst there will be plenty of time for fun, the emphasis will be on academic achievement. If you’ve seriously thought about these issues and still want to apply, there’s a much higher chance you’ll successfully complete your studies compared to students who approach law school on a whim.
Is This the Profession for Me?
Lawyers often work long hours, mainly indoors in office spaces. They focus primarily on writing, preparing and reading documentation. When important cases are on the line, overtime comes as part of the job. They also need to be able to behave professionally with a wide range of people from judges to the poorest and least educated clients. Law school is going to help you become a great lawyer, although it’s also a great foundation for a later career change. If you haven’t done so yet, find a lawyer who will let you follow them around for a day just so you can get an idea of what life that kind of lifestyle might be like for you.