Should I Go to Law School?

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Law school and the practice of law is very different from what TV presents and most people think.

Maybe you are wondering whether law school is right for you. This may be one of the most important decisions you will make related to law school.

In fact, this question is more important than other questions you may have:

  • How do I get into law school?
  • What should I do to prepare for law school?
  • How much money do lawyers make?

Frankly, most law students have no idea what law school or the practice of law is like. I sure didn’t. Practicing law is nothing like popular TV shows:

  • Law and Order
  • Boston Legal
  • The Practice
  • LA Law

Sure, a few high profile lawyers may have similarities with those shows at certain times in their law practice. But 99% of the practice of law is nothing like TV. I suppose that is true about life in general: it’s never like they portray on TV.

So if you want to know what law school is like, consider shadowing an attorney for a day or talking to those who have been through it. For example, watch this short, enlightening video:

One reason that law school is not like many law students expect is that people’s impression of law school is often based on Ivy League law schools. Most law schools are not Ivy League. Most law schools have study bodies comprised of normal Americans, not the extremely intelligent or children of the rich and famous. (Okay, maybe that is also perpetuating a mildly inaccurate stereotype.)

The point is, before you put yourself through three years of hard work, and $90,000 in debt, be sure you are going to law school for the right reasons. To live like a TV lawyer is not the right reason, because you never will.

In conclusion, law school is different from what most incoming law students expect. Further the practice of law is different from what most people think.

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2 Responses to “Should I Go to Law School?”

  1. Brian Denton Says:

    I’m a 1L and I’ve just finished my first month of law school. I can tell you that if you don’t like text-rich environments then law school is not for you. We spend most of our day combing over appellate opinions. These are very difficult to read initially and can be quite discouraging, especially when you try to answer the questions in the “Notes and Questions” section that usually accompanies each case.

    However, if you do like text-rich environments and the challenge of learning how to articulate new ideas in a lawyerly fashion, then law school might be for you.

    I like it.

  2. admin Says:

    Brian: Great point! I had no idea how much reading was required in law school before I started. I never had any reading assignment in undergraduate that came close to the volume required in law school.

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