Why You Might Actually Want To Get A Law Degree


The conventional wisdom these days is law school is a big scam.

It’s unbelievably expensive. The third year is pretty much useless. The job market is atrocious.

But there’s a case to be made for going to law school, and it’s worth listening to because we do need some people to practice law in this country.

Here are the best reasons to get your JD:

  • Law school is your only option if you want to be a lawyer. Period.
  • And there are many ways to be a lawyer, Above the Law’s David Lat has pointed out. While law firms aren’t hiring as much as they used to, corporations will always need in-house attorneys and the DOJ will always need lawyers too.
  • If you go to a top school, you’ll largely be immune from the impact of the recession, this editorial in the college newspaper the Brown Daily Herald points out.

“Demand for Yale graduates doesn’t really change with the economy,” Ross Cheit, a Brown professor, pointed out to the Herald.

  • The point of law school isn’t just to find a job as an attorney, so one shouldn’t be deterred by the weak market for lawyers, some proponents have argued. 

“Law school is not a trade school,” Syracuse law professor Kevin Noble Maillard has argued in The New York Times. “In that narrow model, a legal education would prepare students for one single thing: a job as a lawyer.”

  • Finally, you don’t have to come away from law school with a ton of debt, Above the Law’s David Lat has pointed out. Some people pay for law school with money they earned working in lucrative jobs pre-law school, and others go to inexpensive state schools or get big scholarships.

“Many students aren’t paying full freight,” Lat wrote. “And many of the students who are paying full freight can afford to.”

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