Law school is an expensive investment.
The average cost of a private law school education is $43,020 with public law school costing $26,264 for in-state residents and $39,612 for out-of-state students, according to US News.
That’s why it’s important to make sure a law school is the right choice for you before shelling out three years and six figures towards the degree.
One common reason that law students tend to ditch their law school education is that they go in thinking law school will be a breeze when, in reality, it’s a lot tougher than they thought.
“Many students enter law school assuming they will easily rise to the top of their class and have their pick of opportunities,” Kuris writes. “They are in for a rude awakening. Performing well in law school is a lot harder than it is in college.”
The pressures of law school can also lead students to drop it all together.
“Too many people enter law school with unrealistic hopes for how they can juggle costs, time commitments and other responsibilities,” Kuris writes. “Part-time students often imagine they can squeeze in studying during nights and weekends. Students with financial hardships fail to budget realistically. Other students may fail to foresee the impact of law school on their health and personal relationships.”
EXPECTATION ISN’T REALITY
What you see on the TV screen doesn’t always translate into real life.
And that’s true, to some extent, for law.
“The practice of law can be dry and dull compared to its media portrayal in legal dramas,” Kuris writes. “The study of law can feel even more tedious and less rewarding. Many law students face frequent gut checks about whether they knew what they were getting into, perhaps on a late-night slog through a dense judicial decision about a 19th-century contract.”
ONE SIZE DOESN’T FIT ALL
Experts continuously stress the importance of a finding a law school that aligns with your goals and values.
When it isn’t a good match, students tend to question why they are there.
“They feel out of place,” Kuris writes. “They look around at their classmates and see natural lawyers, while they feel like frauds. Perhaps they feel a case of self-doubt or impostor syndrome, or perhaps they just feel ostracized or out of step with their peers.”
Regardless of why students choose to leave law school, Kuris says, feeling doubtful about your choice is normal.
“But before giving up, remember that every lawyer once felt like a misfit and sometimes still does,” she writes.