What Can Attending Law School Do for You?
There are many people out there who regret getting a legal education, and they will openly tell you that you should not go to law school. But what they are forgetting are all the wonderful things about law school.
Law school is an experience to say the least. It is more than just really hard school … it is an entirely new way of thinking that develops a brand new skill set. Despite being difficult, tiring, and often frustrating, law school can give you some of the best experiences of your life. Here are some things law school can do for you:
- Develop Critical Thinking Skills. Law school teaches you how to think in a way that is different from every other educational experience. You are taught to analyze situations from 360 degrees, anticipate what the flip side of an argument may be, and craft responses for arguments that may never be made. Through use of hypotheticals, role play, and practical exams, law school flips a switch on a different and more analytical way of thinking .
- Cross it Off. Law school may not help you learn exactly what you want to do but it will teach you what you don’t like to do. Some people go into law school knowing what they want to do, some people go into law school having no idea what they want to do, some people leave law school knowing exactly what they want to do, and some people leave law school only with a vague understanding of what they like. But EVERYONE leaves law school with knowledge of things they never want to do – for example, prosecuting criminals, drafting complex insurance contracts, etc. Law school will absolutely help you cross career paths off your list.
- Credibility and Prestige. Some sort of graduate degree is practically required nowadays – it is the new high school diploma. But a law degree still carries with it a fair amount of respect and prestige that few other graduate degrees do. The ability to earn a law degree and pass the bar exam means that you are not only intelligent enough to complete the coursework, but dedicated enough to commit and stick with a rigorous program. This intelligence and commitment is looked favorably upon by almost everyone.
- Open Doors. Despite what most people think, a good percentage of people who go to law school never want to practice law. Sounds crazy right? Why would someone go to law school and never want to practice?! The answer is simple … law school opens doors outside of legal practice. Legal knowledge is coveted and, despite the number of lawyers, often hard to come by. A person who earns a legal degree oftentimes can advance faster within a company, can qualify for a higher salary, and can be given opportunities to participate in projects that he or she may not otherwise be able to do. You may even consider programs that specifically cater to those who want a law degree but don’t want to practice.
- Exposure to New Views. Besides opening doors, law school can also open eyes. In learning to see things from 360 degrees you will also open your mind to different viewpoints and endless possibilities. Some of your thoughts and opinions may be solidified in law school and some of them will be molded an changes, but one thing is for sure, almost all of them will be questioned, both by yourself and others.
- Life-long Relationships. Probably one of the biggest things that law school has to offer are connections – both personal and professional. The people you meet in law school are intelligent and ambitious, just like you. You will bond with these people because you have similar mindsets, similar interests, and sometimes for the simple reason that misery loves company. Some of the people you meet in law school will be in your wedding (or you will end up marrying!). Some of them will help you get a job. Some of them you will go face in court. These relationships will still exists 5 years, 10 years, 20 years out of law school.
So when you consider going to law school, make sure you look at both sides of the equation, both the good and the bad, afterall, that is what a good law student (and lawyer) does.