Law school is a big investment. For many, that investment may or may not be worthwhile, especially considering law school grads graduate with an average student loan debt of $145,500
Ilana Kowarski, a reporter at US News, recently spoke to recent J.D. grads on whether or not they felt their law school degree was worth the large investment.
A number of recent J.D. recipients stand by their degrees, arguing that the degree offers a path to help others.
“What drove me to law school was the accumulation of years of witnessing the unfair treatment of people who are on the wrong side of the power structure,” Attorney Dan Lage, a partner and director of legal operations with Ruane Attorneys and University of Connecticut Law grad, tells US News. “This includes the criminally accused, those discriminated against by employers and the government, and people who are taken advantage of by those who abuse their status in our society. I was sick of it. I wanted to be someone that spoke up for those people, so I decided to go to law school, and I would do it again a million times over.”
Brady McAninch, a partner with the Hipskind & McAninch personal injury law firm and graduate of Southern Illinois University—Carbondale, says that ultimately the law degree was the right choice for his career.
“While the debt remains an issue, which I anticipated, the work is rewarding and enjoyable,” McAninch tells US News. “I have to confess that being in the courtroom is something I love, the competition, serving others, it is a calling for me and something I do not think I could replace with anything else.”
On the flip side, some grads warn potential law students of the realities of a law degree today.
“From a pure intellectual analysis, there are equally rewarding jobs out there, that require less education and pay more money,” Ken Eulo, a managing partner with the Smith & Eulo Law Firm in Florida, tells US News. “I only recommend law school to those that truly can’t imagine doing anything else with their lives.”
If anything, prospective law students should always look at the salary to debt ratios and scholarship offerings of law schools they want to attend
Sources: US News, Nerd Wallet, Investopedia, Tipping the Scales
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