Should I go to law school

For this week’s mailbag, LegalJob attempts to provide some insight to help address the common question of “should I go to law school given the uncertain job market and the huge cost?”  There are plenty of sites that provide good advice about pros and cons to consider.  Here is one.

With the benefit of hindsight and observation of the most successful law school graduates, LegalJob provides the following question for potential law school students to consider:  Can you distinguish yourself sufficiently from other law graduates based on your education and/or previous experience or based on the legal niche you plan to pursue?  In other words, are you minimizing your risk (at least somewhat) that you will be unemployed after graduation with lots of debt? Here are some examples of potential game plans:

  • Undergraduate degree in accounting and planning to focus on tax or corporate law;
  • Undergraduate degree in engineering and planning to focus on intellectual property law;
  • Undergraduate degree in journalism and planning to focus on first amendment/media law;
  • Experience in commercial real estate and planning to focus on property/real estate law;
  • Experience as an auto claims adjuster and planning to focus on insurance law; and
  • Experience working 0n political campaigns or working for politicians and planning to focus on election law;
  • No prior experience in environmental law but pursue an opportunity to be a research assistant to an environmental law professor or pursue an opportunity (even if unpaid) to work at a government agency that would expose you to the area; and
  • You have a distinguishing characteristic in that you speak a different language, come from a different country, or have some other talent and you pursue opportunities during law school that enable you to leverage this trait.

Employers are interested in candidates that are focused and have demonstrated a commitment to the particular area of law.  Accordingly, the most successful graduates have developed their plan/marketing strategy before attending law school (or early on).


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