The question if law school is worth the price depends on many factors. First, why are you going to law school, and what type of law do you desire to practice. I went to study taxation, corporations and real estate with a desire to practice real estate development and sell tax incentives to wealthy investors. My goal was to use my skills in major real estate development projects, financed by the wealthy attaining large tax advantages from the money loosing side of development, like property attainment, construction and the time it takes a large commercial building to become financially profitable. For the first 3-7 years large commercial projects loose money in interest payments, construction costs and time to lease the building to a level that produced positive cash flow. During those years of negative cash flows the initial investors could write off the expenses/losses until the building is in positive cash flow, at which time the investors sell the asset for fair market value. The investors would have years of write offs for the money loosing years and would see a substantial profit on the sale of the property once it is in positive cash flow and the value is normally determined by the rate of return. The tax laws have now changed and this form of investment vehicle is no longer as profitable to investors for reasons I will not explain.
I went to law school to make money, that was my goal.
If you desire to go to law school to fight for social justice the return on investment is much lower than what I experienced, but can be rewarding in other ways. You need at have some idea of what you want type of law you desire to practice. Your personality will also determine your level of success. Good trial attorneys make the highest salaries, but becoming a trial attorney is difficult and very draining, I was a very successful trial attorney. Going to law school just to get the degree with no long term plan can be a waste of money. If it very expensive and difficult to excel for most people. If you are on law review and get good internships in law school you have a better chance of higher income potential.
The idea of going to law school to promote social justice, protect the environment, represent the poor, defend serious issues such as the death penalty and other fields in a similar vein can be draining and in some cases very profitable, but in general are not areas where attorneys make large salaries. Finally, if you have the skills you can open your own practice, which can be both financially rewarding and or a total financial bust.
As you can see from my answer, I went to law school to increase my wealth and knowledge of a specific field, real estate investment. I went to best environmental law school in the western united states. Many of my friends were there to save the environment, and many of them were hired by the EPA and other environmental causes. Most of them now work for large chemical, oil and industrial companies advising them how to avoid getting caught. I call it teaching the company how to walk the legal line.
I would advise determining what type of law you desire to practice and make a plan to succeed in that field. Being an attorney, especially a good one, can be very rewarding both emotionally and financially, but it is expensive, difficult and there are many attorneys in the USA that do not even practice law. Either they can not pass the bar exam or they became disillusioned with the field during the education process. It is not only expensive, but will take years of your life to complete law school. It was the hardest schooling I have ever taken and I was a straight A student until law school. I got my first c ever there and the competition was stiff.
If you are bright, catch on to difficult subjects well, are very analytical and fairly aggressive, law school is for you. If not get an MBA, that was much easier and also can lead to great financial rewards.
My problem is that I see education as an investment in increasing my net worth. Many people go to law school for social and justice reasons, and I do not fault them. I am, or was very economically motivated and I saw law school as a means to enter the world of large scale real estate development, which I did as well as became a very successful trial attorney in 30 million dollar trials, minimum , and my fees were huge.
I have retired from law as I felt the practice required me to be very aggressive and at times crossing ethical boundries to get what my clients desired.
State schools are significantly less than the "big" schools you hear about.
20/21 School Year
Yale Law School
Stanford Law School
Harvard Law School
Columbia Law School
University of Chicago Law School
New York University School of Law
University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School
As far as scholarships, there are so many. Start by going to the Law School Admission Council's website: