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Is Law School Right for You? This is How You Know

The average total cost of law school is $205,744. For many, the sticker price of law education alone can be discouraging.

Is it worth it? Am I qualified? How much debt will I have? These are all real fears and anxieties that are normal when it comes to considering law school. Gabriel Kuris, founder of Top Law Coach and contributor at US News, recently offered a few helpful tips on how prospective applicants can face their doubts and overcome their fear of applying to law school.

BE REAL WITH YOURSELF

It’s normal to have doubts about yourself when considering law school. But, Kuris says, it’s important to ask yourself a few key questions before committing to legal education.

“Applicants should think through practical considerations about the affordability of tuition and the costs and benefits of their degree, as well as more personal questions about choosing a legal career path and tradeoffs they may have to face,” Kuris writes.

A law career is very enticing. For context, entry-level lawyers at top law firms can make $200,000 a year. While the reward is high, experts say it’s important for prospective applicants to carefully consider whether a law career is truly right for them.

“Spend a year interning in a law firm or at the public defender’s office to see what it’s really like,” Fredrick Gold, an ex-attorney, writes. “At the very least, talk to as many working lawyers as you can. Ask them what they love about the law and listen carefully to their answers.”

ACCEPT AND OVERCOME YOUR FEARS

The first step to overcoming your fears about law school, Kuris says, is to face them.

“Write down your concerns as they arise,” Kuris writes. “Write responses to them. Revise this list over time, as you learn more. But don’t base your decisions on it.”

Once you’ve accepted you fears, the next step is make a decision based on reason and evidence. Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish with a law degree, Kuris says, and determine what steps you need to take to address any obstacles you may face.

At the end of the day, a law degree can open the doors to a fulfilling career. You just have to make sure that career is right for you.

“One hard truth about being a lawyer is that those fears will still be with you,” Kuris writes. “You may walk into a courtroom clouded with self-doubt. Then you may look at your client, whose fears dwarf yours, and remember you have a job to do.”

Sources: US News, Education Data Initiative, Fredrick Gold, The Wall Street Journal