Is Law School a Good Investment?

JD2B, a blog for law students, has a survey of its readers on its front page. What is surprising is that when asked whether “gaining a law degree is a good investment,” over half the readers in the survey answered, “no, in fact, I think it is not an investment at all.”

What do you think? Is a law degree a good investment? Also, what is the reason for your opinion? Please add your comments below.

I believe a law degree is a good investment even though law school costs three years of law students’ lives and nearly $100,000, and many attorneys make surprisingly little money (see Why Most Law School Graduates Earn Less Money Than They Expect, The Amount of Money Law School Graduates Actually Earn, and More on Graduating Law Students’ Employment Prospects).

A law degree is more than a degree. The law degree represents years of learning how to analyze intangible thoughts and concepts (often called “thinking like a lawyer”). A law degree also involves years of training in legal writing, research, and studying the writings of some of the brightest minds in history. These aspects will benefits students for the rest of their lives whether they are a lawyer or not.

Law school helps people make decisions in life, analyze factors and information, and articulate these decisions. This helps in the role of parent, friend, co-worker, and whatever profession the law school graduate eventually chooses.

In short, law school is expensive, but its value far exceeds the mere value of a lawyer’s salary.

For a somewhat contrary view, discussing the consequences of law school, consider reading Are Law Students Emotional Wrecks?

11-23-07 Update: This article has been updated. Please read Many Law Graduates Disappointed: Few Jobs, Low Salaries, High Stress.