Planning your education is only a small part of the process. The biggest challenge lies in getting accepted into a program.
Depending on who you ask, being a lawyer is either a great career choice or one that some people would never consider. But for you, someone who loves all things law and wants to make the world a better place, becoming a lawyer may be your calling. But as eager as you are, there are certain factors you need to take into account first. Here is what you need to know about before becoming a lawyer.
Where You Live
You may not think that location plays a role in becoming a lawyer, however, it does. You can only practice in that state you reside in, unless you’re licensed in others. If you intend on practicing law in multiple states, you will have to take the bar exam and receive that specific state’s licensing. This also applies to opening your own law firm.
Paying for Your Education
Before you can apply to law school, you need to graduate college with a bachelor’s degree, which takes four years. Then, you have to complete another three years of law school to receive your juris doctor. Your juris doctor is proof you’ve completed law school and makes you eligible to take the bar exam. Your education is one of the biggest investments you will ever make, so you need to make it count. The cost of your education does vary on where you live and where you choose to go to school. On top of that, you also have to add the cost of your student loans into the mix. Student loans cover the cost of tuition that you cannot afford at the time, which means you will eventually have to pay it back.
To reduce your interest cost, your best bet is to consolidate the debt you already have with your student loans. For this reason, you may want to consider going to a private lender rather than federally funded loan servicers. Private lenders may be able to offer lower interest rates, which can also help reduce your monthly payments as existing balances are combined into one. The average cost of a law degree can fall between $40,000 to almost $80,000. This depends on how far you want to go with your education. A master’s degree costs more than a bachelors, as well as the cost of law school also depends on the school you choose to attend.
A public law university is usually less expensive than a private law school. Another factor that’s easy to gloss over is whether or not you’re going to be in a residential program or a non-residential program. Residential public university range around $28,000 in tuition and fees while non-residential programs cost almost twice as much.
Planning your education is only a small part of the process. The biggest challenge lies in getting accepted into a program. Law is one of the strictest and most competitive careers, so having a high GPA is a must. Oftentimes, a high GPA gives you the upper hand in securing spot in the program. The recommended GPA for law school is no lower than 3.7. Anything lower may decrease your chances of getting accepted. Having a degree in law in more than just becoming a lawyer; it also allows you to defend those who innocent and help convict those who aren’t. It’s a noble profession that demands a lot of forethought, even before you ever set foot in it.