The 8 Worst Reasons To Go To Law School

Legally Blonde

Photo: IMDB

The Supreme Court’s very own chief justice said this week that many Americans go to law school for the wrong reasons.”I think there are a lot of people who go to law school because they’re not good at maths and can’t think of anything else to do,” John Roberts said at Houston’s Rice University.

That’s not the only bad reason to drop $200,000 on a law degree.

In his book “Don’t Go To Law School (Unless),” law professor Paul Campos ranks the eight most ridiculous reasons for going to law school.

8. Everybody in my family is a lawyer.

OK, this is probably a pretty benign reason to go to law school, especially since your lawyer family members could help you get a job, Campos says.

'But do you really want to have the same life as that person?' Campos asks in his book.

7. I want to save the world.

Public interest lawyers' wages have hardly risen since 2004. At the same time, competition for public-interest work has gotten incredibly fierce.

Find a way to help people that doesn't land you in debt. And if any of you do-gooders need more reasons to skip the law degree, read this.

6. I want to be rich.

While first-year lawyers at huge law firms can make $160,000, according to industry group NALP, the reality is that most make less if they get jobs at all.

Lawyers at firms with fewer than 70 lawyers make a median salary of $70,750, for example.

That's not very much if you incurred a ton of debt at a private school.

5. Lawyers do all kinds of interesting work.

Most legal work is 'boring and stressful' and most lawyers are dissatisfied and stressed-out, Campos says.

Indeed, a Business Insider analysis of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health data found a disturbingly high suicide rate among lawyers.

4. None of this is relevant because I'm going to graduate in the top 10 per cent of my class, work at a big firm to pay off my debts in five years, and then do what I really wanted all along.

3. My parents will be disappointed with me if I don't do something respectable instead of pursuing my dream of being a BLANK.

It's not respectable to be broke, in debt, and possibly jobless or underemployed, Campos points out.

Not sure how to break the news? Above the Law has this helpful primer on how to tell your parents you're not going to law school.

2. What am I supposed to do with this useless degree in English/Polici/Sociology/Assyrian Musicology

Campos urges you not to 'double down on useless degrees' while increasing your debt load significantly.

If you're really in a rut, you could try Americorps to buy yourself some time while you try to figure out what to do with that English degree.

1. I don't know what to do with my life

Don't spend $200,000 figuring out you don't want to practice the law after all.

'Have you ever said to yourself, I don't know what to do with my life -- so I'm going to spend three years of it going deeply into debt, in a quite possibly futile attempt to enter a profession that I have no desire to join?' Campos asks in his book.

'I bet you haven't, because who would ever say something that idiotic?'

Now that you have to re-think your future, distract yourself with some pictures of puppies ...

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Tagged In

features law-us