The glamour and drama of TV shows like The Practice
and Law and Order have convinced more than a few
unsuspecting liberal arts majors that law school is the path
to wealth, excitement, and a great wardrobe. But out of the
40,000 students entering law school each year, a full 10%
leave before graduating.
Considering the commitment of time and money that getting
a J.D. demands, the time to figure out if law school is right
for you is before you enroll. Begin by asking yourself the
- What does a lawyers job entail when he or she is
not in the courtroom?
- Am I ready for the stress of being a law student and all
the hours most successful attorneys devote to their profession?
- Do I love to research, read, and write about legal issues?
If you arent immediately certain of your answers, you
have some research to do. Use your network to arrange some
informational interviews with attorneys working in a variety
of settings--legal aid, criminal work, corporate law, commercial
litigation, family law, etc. Contact the American Bar Association
(www.abanet.org) for copies of their recent publications to
see what law is really about--beyond whats on TV and
in John Grisham novels. You can also turn to services like
School Advisor to help you with your application and admission
If you decide that law school is for you, theres additional
research to do--into finding the right school. For rankings
of law schools according to a variety of factors, see the
Legal Resource Guide.