Monday, January 25, 2010

Is Law School Worth It?

A Latina recently reached out to me and asked me whether or not she should go to law school, considering the state of the economy. If you read my post, "Excuse Me You're Stepping All Over My Dreams" you know what my response is. But I think the Aspiring-Licenciada in question  has the same questions many others in her shoes have: Should I go to law school if theres' a chance I won't land a job when I graduate?

This was my reply, which I hope will help others
planning on going to law school:

If you want to go to law school & want to practice law - then just do it. The financial fear (or fear in general) should not stop you from pursuing a dream. At the risk of sounding corny, Si se puede / yes you can.

The job market in general hasn't been so great, but no one can take away your education. So here's the deal: I've been practicing law 3 and a half years. I don't make 6 figures - not even close. But I pay the bills and I am still paying my loans. A JD alone will open doors in the law & outside of the legal world. Then if you choose to practice, you're an ESQ (Guess what? More doors swinging open).

Depending on the field you choose, you will certainly find jobs (mind you, it took me a while to get a job, but I did get a job). Keep in mind, it's WHO you know, not necessarily what you know. So be proactive in the hunt: intern throughout law school & network. You will not need to rely on the state of the economy when you're done. Although it may not be easy, you will NOT be jobless....Will you make 6 figures? I don't know. There are a lot of variables. But there are lawyers who do. Like anything, it may take time.
You just have to ask yourself why you want to become a lawyer. And there's your answer. You're going to make sacrifices and push yourself and will test your relationships because you will be growing, your mode of thought expanding, and learning about different aspects of who you are.

Do you want that? Your answer will help you decide what's best for YOU. So my advice to you is, follow your gut. There are a zillion easy reasons to say, "not now" or "I can't" or "I'm afraid" and a million "what ifs." Challenge yourself to follow your dreams. You never know where they may take you.
So what do you think? Considering one entering law school may not be done within three or four years, should the financial fear stop them?