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Should I be a lawyer? Is it worth it?

Interest in law . #lawyer #law #criminal-justice #attorney

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Subject: Career question for you

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mitch’s Answer

I like Madison's answer. And Edward's (but don't plan on the "millions" unless you are one of the lucky few).
Law is a noble career, despite all the lawyer jokes you hear. It's worth it, if you have a passion for the law, and a desire to help people. If you are merely looking for the money, it might not be worth it to you. College is tough, but law school is grueling. And in most markets, I understand that the number of lawyers exceeds the number of law jobs available. Things could well change by the time you get to that point, however.
Law can be interesting and rewarding (and I don't mean just the money). Clear thinking and a just attitude are often rewarded with respect and success. Being an attorney is worth it, if you don't mind working hard, dedicating long hours and being devoted to your work. That's true for law school and for practicing law. You do not have to sacrifice having a personal and family life, however. Decide in advance to preserve your personal/family time, except for when there are major deadlines or emergencies.
If you like doing research, writing, speaking and debating, the law may just be for you.
Good luck in your decision.
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Madison’s Answer

So, I have to give you the lawyer answer: it depends. If you go to law school, you will hear that phrase *a lot.* First and foremost, your job options--particularly the higher-paying jobs--will often depend on the grades you get in law school. However, I admittedly did not get the best grades and I still managed to get employed. Especially because my field is in disability law, which really depends on whether you have the passion for that work. What is more commonly referred to as "BigLaw" will require excellent grades--and law school is a learning curve. I also personally do not trust attorneys who are in the work just for the money. It is a field that requires a passion in whatever field you consider.

You can go to law school and then later apply for a "JD advantage job" if you find the legal field is not up your alley after being in law school for 3+ years.

Madison recommends the following next steps:

If you are in high school looking to go to college, do not worry about majoring in pre-law or political science. I majored in psychology; law schools are looking for more diverse students in this regard. Just get good grades in college.
Take the LSAT your senior year of college. Make sure you look up median LSAT scores at the place you want to go to; try to get at least the median.
Take law electives in law school in a bunch of different areas so you can know what areas you would like to work in.
If you want to work in BigLaw, make sure you attend OCI (off-campus interviews). This is a period of late summer-early fall.
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Jeannette’s Answer

Only you can answer that.

To help you answer that question, I would recommend spending some time with several different attorneys. Find attorneys in different areas of specialization, (because that could have an impact on your decision). Ask if they'll let you shadow them for a day. Keep in mind that due to client confidentiality, you may not be able to experience everything they do in a day, but spending time seeing how their days are spent will help you decide if you have a passion for it or not. Best of luck to you!
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Edward’s Answer

I say Yes.

It's takes hard work for at least seven years to become a lawyer, and it's expensive to get a good legal education.

However, the income you can earn for 50+ years repays the costs with millions to spare, supporting your family forever.

Helping people avoid problems and solve their disputes is very rewarding, and that's what lawyers do.

I've been a lawyer for 53 years and have never regretted it.

Edward recommends the following next steps:

Talk to other lawyers and ask them
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Maureen’s Answer

Yes, if being a lawyer is something that you truly aspire or dream to be. Do not become a lawyer if someone else would like you to do so. Is it worth it? Maybe. While it is hard work and can be rewarding, you may incur a large amount of debt if you must take out student loans to finance your law school education. If so, that burden can be very heavy, if not thought about and planned for in advance.

Maureen recommends the following next steps:

If you are thinking about college, do not worry about your major. You do not need to be pre-law.
Study for the LSAT. It’s ok if you don’t take the prep courses. But still study and focus on test taking skills.
Talk to ANY lawyers you know. Ask them your questions, which are great!
Do the math. Assume that you can and will get into law school. If you will be financing your education, then assume that that you will need to take out student loans plus interest for all theee years of law school. Now come up with a monthly repayment number PLUS rent, food, gas, you get the picture.
Don’t worry about, but do plan for, the math! Perhaps this means that you will be working for a few years after college to save money for tuition. Perhaps you will seek scholarships or chose a school with lower tuition. Either way, you will be informed and less likely to incur soul crushing debt.
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