Post # 1
I’m considering going to Law School. I just graduated in December with a BS in Criminal Justice. I am not having much luck with meaningful employment. I work as a part time security guard. I keep testing for police, probation, and correctional officer positions but either I don’t hear anything back or I end up failing part of the physical or interview exams and become disqualified. I have a few more tests for various positions but I was thinking about going to law school if nothing pans out after maybe a full year of trying to get a real job.
How hard is it to go to law school? Do you have to be from a rich family or an honor student? I almost graduated with honors but just missed it by a hair. College wasn’t hard from me but managing my time was difficult at times with stressful situations. How much out of class work are you given compared to a bachelor degree program? How hard is it to memorize the laws? Do you know of any websites that offer help on getting started to applying to law schools?
Thank you for any help.
Post # 2
Instead of springing for law school (tough and expensive with little guarantee of employment), have you considered becoming a paralegal?
Post # 3
If you’re in the United States, unless you go to a very good school, or are top of the class at a lower ranked school, there’s a high probability you’d be unemployed after graduating law school as well. You’d just have a much higher debt load.
Top-law-schools.com has a forum and information on applying to law school if you’re interested in it.
Post # 4
Countrygirl2014: Have you thought about forensic psychology or forensic science? Forensics.is booming field.
Post # 5
Countrygirl2014: Law school is tough, but nothing compared to how tough life is after law school if you don’t go to one of the top schools and graduate with tons of debt and aren’t able to get a job as an attorney.
Post # 6
Countrygirl2014: It’s been a few years (I graduated law school in 1999), but it was A LOT of out of class work – in fact, the majority is out of class work and if you have poor time management skills, you will have a hard time, for sure. You don’t “memorize the laws” in law school – you are taught to think like a lawyer. You also have to take the LSAT prior to application. It is also expensive and the job market is tough and extremely competitive after graduation. Not to mention, studying for and passing your state’s bar exam. It is a lot of work and can be very rewarding, but it is not easy and not a guarantee of future success or wealth.
Post # 7
I work at a university law library. I had considered law school before, but after talking to the students I work with – unh-unh. They all are so stressed out, and as a PP mentioned, the job market for lawyers is horrible right now.
Post # 8
I work in a law firm as a secretary. If you ask 99% of the attonreys I work with if law school is worth it the all will tell you no. One of our paralegals is currently in law school and he pretty much has no life outside of work and school.
Post # 9
Any graduate program is a lot more out of class work than undergrad. How are your writing skills, and how do you feel about writing papers? Unless you have excellent writing skills, I would not recommend law school.
No one should go to law school because they don’t know what else to do. Law school and the job market are too competitive to allow for people who don’t *really* want to be there.
Post # 10
When I asked people if I should go to Law School, everyone but 1 person told me not to. I went to the good law school, not a Harvard or a Yale, but a top 50 school, and I have a great job in the personal injury field- but getting a job after school does depend on where youl live. It’s pretty easy to get a job as an attorney here in Vegas, but I have heard that it is harder in other parts of the country. I was lucky to have no student loans from law school- so that is something to think about, if you have to take out loans. I went to a good state school for my undergrad- I had a decent GPA, but not a 4.0. I did have stellar recommandations- and I had a good LSAT score.
For me the first year was the hardest, but I went back to school after I had graduated from undergrad- so part of that could have just been getting into the groove of being back in school. I had worked in a law firm for several years, so I had a basic knowlege of terms and certain classes were easier for me- Torts was a breeze, but I really struggled with contracts. As the PP stated writing is something you must love! I also think having good problem solving skills and being able to think outside the box is important.
You won’t know until you try it. Take the LSAT- see how you do and go from there. One of my best friends just finished her 1L and she’s 28- she’s loving it and doing super well. Good luck! PM me if you want more info!
Post # 11
Oh boy. Do not go to the trouble of law school unless you are SO passionate about it. Have you taken the LSAT? Do you have a pretty high GPA? Researched schools you like? What tier are they? What do their admissions process look like? What type of law do you plan on practicing? Are you willing to take out XXX,XXX potentially in loans? Are you able to be qualified to take out this amount? Do you enjoy being in school? Do you test well? Do you know about the Bar exam in your state? Do you mind not being employed afterwards? There are tons of lawyers out of work who have huge amounts of student loans and regret the process. Unless you are REALLY passionate about the law field I would never tell you to apply.
Post # 12
Law school is tough and expensive. I would not recommend going because you don’t know what else to do. Every person in my law school who entered for that reason was completely miserable.
Post # 13
Countrygirl2014: Are you in the U.S.? If so what part of the country? I’d look into campus security at community and university levels, mall security because some of these lead to positions in the secret service and beyond. I’ve heard there is an extreme over population of lawyers and it isn’t advisable to go to school for it now.
If you’re tech savvy perhaps a cyber security associates to tack onto your education to look for a job in Information Assurance (huge right now and there are a bajillion certificates you can get that can help land you a job).
Geico has investigative units, might be called SIU, that hire Crim degrees. They are hiring specifically in Virginia Beach right now.
Have you looked into the military/reserves? Could go in as an officer and since you’re working part-time you’ll have time for duty weekends and such.
Does your college offer any sort of after college career assitance? I’d be using what resources I could including resume building to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.
Post # 14
I graduated from law school last year. I breezed through undergrad (I’d maybe study for an hour or two the night before finals in a similar degree program as you) and struggled with law school. It’s a completely different game than undergrad. Your first year, you can expect to come home and do your reading until bed time. After your first year, you’re expected to intern every semester to be competitive. I interned 40 hours a week and took night classes until 11pm, doing homework on the weekends. Most schools require you to complete a Comment or Note, which is comparable to a Thesis (80+ pages). Most students do this with full time classes AND an internship.
This is NOT a career you choose because you can’t find a job; it just isn’t a safe bet anymore. I have many friends who are still looking for jobs in their field, and I went to a top tier school. Unless you are able to get into a top 10 school with full or almost full scholarship, I would not even consider it. Six figures of debt is a reality for all of my friends, except for one or two mega-rich friends.
If I had to go back and do it all over again, I would still go to law school because what I wanted to do (prosecution) is literally impossible to do without a law degree. However, I would have worked a lot harder to secure scholarship funding. Student loans don’t seem as bad when you’re in school, but once you get out, a middle class/upper middle class salary will still have you pinching pennies to pay it down. I think over my three years of law school my loans accrued $20-30k in interest alone. If you are in the U.S., this is a very likely reality.
If you’d like to PM me about preparing for law school, deciding whether it’s a good fit for you personally, I’m happy to talk to you. I just wish I had been more prepared for what I was taking on before starting school.
Post # 15
mandaluv1119: “No one should go to law school because they don’t know what else to do.”
+1000. I went to a Top 5 undergrad and law school and am still so grateful to have come out of all that with a good job. It’s a jungle out there and a handful of my classmates are still having trouble landing jobs that they’re happy with.
Really think about whether law school’s an investment of time/money that you want to make and if all the risks are worth whatever potential reward.
Top Law Schools is a great resource, but beware there are many gunners on there so it can be overwhelming.
In terms of admission, your LSAT and GPA are what matter. And if you’re a URM (under represented miniorty).
In terms of how “hard” it is… well, it’s stressful. It’s competitive. The actual material in front of me wasn’t “hard” IMO, but it was hard in the context of being surrounded by people who were trying to get the best grades possible to get the best jobs/clerkships possible and feeling like it was a rat race that you had to keep up with.
Anyway, tl;dr: do lots of research before making the decision. There are lots of factors to weigh and it shouldn’t be a decision made on a whim.