I am currently trying to figure out my life, like many people my age do. Law school seems to be a good path for me, but will it make me happy? Weighing all the options, what should I even do?
1. Are you ready to commit three more years to education?
I, personally, didn't like school until college. However, that does not mean I am excited to spend three more years at law school! While some people say it's an investment on yourself, and for your future, it's still a huge time commitment.
Nobody that I know worked during 1L. All that time in school and I could have been in the workforce instead of accumulating upwards of $150,000 in debt.
2. Is law really your thing?
In pre-school, a teacher told my parents that, "Emma was a leader!". What they really meant was that I never did what anyone wanted me to do and argued with everyone about anything. It was either my way from the get-go or convincing them that my way was the best way.
While some parents might have seen my love for arguing and convincing as annoying, my parents saw me as future lawyer material. My dad says that I was always meant to be a lawyer and I truly love studying the law. I can't wait to put it into practice, create it, and change it. So yes, I guess it is my thing.
3. How am I going to afford law school? Can I?
Luckily, I got my life together in college and managed to get a 3.9 GPA while on track to graduate early. My GPA definitely won't hurt my scholarship chances. If I can pull off a good LSAT score, I'll be golden.
Loans are a huge factor in this decision, at least for me. Accumulating $150,000 in debt over three years doesn't sound acceptable. I'm going to rely on my scholarships, hopefully, to pull me through.
4. What do you even want to do with a law degree?
Everyone always talked about going to law school for a J.D. to practice as an attorney. That is the most basic dream, but it's also mine. I know that many people put their J.D. to use as analysts, editors, teachers, but I've always wanted to be the attorney.
There are so many things that I love to do. Working in the non-profit sector, like Feeding America, would be amazing. Local government or federal government would also be rewarding and exciting. Those don't need a law degree, but it wouldn't hurt it either.
What a law degree does provide is options.
5. Should you go now, or wait and work?
Every time that I ask myself this, I say to myself "If I don't go now, I won't go,". Like I said earlier, school and I don't get along. It's hard for me, and I feel like I have to work 3x as hard to get good grades. While I love school now, the thought of being at a harder one for three more years is scary.
I know myself. I'd end up finding something awesome with my bachelor's degree and get lost in whatever job I had. Then I'd most likely have children, and more cats, so I wouldn't want to until even later. It might never happen.
6. Where do you want to go?
When thinking about where I would want to attend law school, I first wanted to go as far away as possible. I looked at the traditional Harvard, Yale, Cornell, and decided the cut-throat life wasn't for me. I wanted a more "undergrad" feel, since I've thrived on that.
Then, I decided I should stay close to home for my sister. The University of Michigan Law School is a close, top-ten law school. Around me are a couple other law schools that aren't bad either.
7. Will it make you happy?
This is the hard one for me. I just want to be happy at the end of the day. Would I be happy not going to law school?