Below is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.
Good Friends Don’t Let Friends Go to Law School
If you are currently a lawyer, you probably know that the law school and legal employment game now isn’t what it used to be. Rising tuition costs, a stagnant or in some cases, shrinking, job market, and a large amount of qualified lawyers vying competitively for very few jobs makes the idea of going to law school now a somewhat crazy one. Still, so many enterprising young people envision the idealized image of the lawyer—the guy who makes big bucks, undertakes important cases, and otherwise Changes the World. Even though we may enjoy our jobs as lawyers, we know the much less glorified truth. If you have friends or relatives considering law school, here’s how to talk them out of it.
1. Make them understand the true costs of law school.
For any but the independently wealthy, going to law school will entail taking out tens, sometimes hundreds, of thousands of dollars in loans. While in the past, this cost was much more modest and much more hopeful of being worth the expense, the same cannot be said for today. Law school tuition is quickly ballooning faster than the rate of inflation. With not enough jobs to go around after graduating from law school, it’s very likely that a future lawyer will struggle to pay back his or her loans.
2. Talk to them about what most lawyers really do on a daily basis.
Most people who want to be lawyers really just want to be the lawyers they see in courthouse dramas on television. It’s important for prospective law students to know that, since so many cases settle, they will hardly ever go to court. The majority of lawyering, they should know, is paper work and chatting with clients.
3. Show them how the odds of getting a well-paying, permanent gig as a lawyer are heavily stacked against them.
So your prospective law school loved one is planning for the future, and uses average salary estimates found on the Web. While these averages are, to a certain degree, accurate, they don’t tell the whole picture—that most starting lawyers make well below the listed average, that the highest-paying entry-level big firm positions are almost exclusively reserved for the top graduates of only the elite schools. No matter how well they do in law school, if they don’t go to a very prestigious one, they’ll just be another stamped product coming out of the law school mill.
4. If all else fails, offer encouragement.
Still, of course, there are some students and young professionals who would be especially cut out to be an incredible lawyer. If you see that your friend or family member is completely aware of the risks and realities concerning law school and the legal market, and they still want to dive into law, offer as much guidance as you can.
This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.