Is a Law Degree Worth It? Here’s What to Consider
The average total cost of law school is $205,744. And only 23% of law school grads say their education was worth the cost. For those interested in pursuing legal education, it may be worthwhile to consider the costs and benefits of a law degree. Gabriel Kuris, founder of Top Law Coach and contributor at US News, recently highlighted the main advantages of law school and offered advice on deciding whether the degree is worth the time and investment.
WHAT CAN LAW SCHOOL OFFER?
A legal education certainly provides a strong foundation for legal specialties, but Kuris says the degree can also offer skills applicable to a variety of industries.
“Law school will strengthen your ability to think on your feet, sift through evidence, analyze risks and methodically work through complex problems,” Kuris says. “More practically, law school comes in handy when you need to sign contracts, resolve disputes, interpret laws or understand legal processes.”
And a law degree from a reputable law school can look attractive—even for jobs outside the legal industry.
“Many potential employers look favorably on law school graduates, particularly in fields like business, professional services, politics, mediation, communications and social justice,” Kuris says. “And many law graduates gain the confidence to succeed on their own as consultants, journalists and entrepreneurs.”
IS LAW SCHOOL RIGHT FOR ME?
A law degree requires time, money, and effort. And, Kuris says, the decision to pursue law school shouldn’t be taken lightly.
“Carefully consider opportunity costs,” Kuris says. “If you passed up law school, what are the chances you would spend that time taking crucial steps toward a life goal? If you feel uncertain or unenthusiastic about your current career trajectory, law school may be a low-stakes decision even if you don’t intend to practice.”
Ultimately, the decision is a personal choice—one that requires thorough exploration and planning.
“If you feel unsure, do more research,” Kuris says. “Take time to pursue internships or volunteer opportunities or conduct informational interviews with people in a range of fields. Ask them how worthwhile a law degree is, instead of trying to assess it in the abstract.”
Next Page: How to prep for law school.
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