There you stand, at the edge of the law. Well, okay, hopefully not at the edge of crossing the law, but nearing the threshold of possibly entering the community of law. And you don't know whether the three-year, $100K+ investment, and absolute promise of the completely uncertain outcome of a career-defining Bar exam is right for you. What do you do...how do you decide whether or not to go to law school?
It is a tough decision, and yes, life-changing too, but even if you don't go to law school you, chances are you will have a life-changing experience in the next three years. So start your decision-making process minus the hype...it will help you maintain sanity, and keep perspective.
And now, take the pop quiz. And be sure to follow the random, slightly ridiculous and arbitrary directions. They come from associations with those who have pursued a J.D., those who haven't, those who love practicing law, and those who found their life's passion after (and in spite of) law school.
What you'll need: a mirror, a piece of paper, and a black, fine Pilot gel ink pen (okay, a blue ball-point one will do too).
The Pop Quiz:
1. List 3 reasons you want to go to law school.
2. On a new page, letter from "A" to "E" on the paper. For (A), write the name of a movie that inspired your decision to apply to law school. (B), a real-life attorney you respect, (C) a lawyer you don't want to be like, (D) one legal-related work or internship experience that made you consider law school. And (E), your name. For each, write down exactly 2 salient characteristics or qualities you associate with each entry. Look for similarities between (E) and (A)-(D).
If you couldn't think of an entry for one of the (Capital Letters), that could be a problem. Consider writing a 2 page essay on why you drew a blank.
3. Write down three "perfect job" titles of what you would love to be doing in five years. Create simple flow charts for each to show a path of how you could achieve each with and without a law degree. For examples of flow charts, check here and here.
Next, look in the mirror, and ask yourself why you aren't already doing any of those jobs right now.
4. Re-do Step #1 on a new page.
Take your new list and cross out the first and third reason. If you had only the remaining reason, would you go?
5. Trust your decision. It is the right one.