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When Should You Go to Law School? A Few Things to Consider

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By Betty Wang, JD on November 14, 2013 9:05 AM

When should you go to law school? We may have not-so-subtly suggested a thousand times that perhaps you just shouldn't, but of course we haven't forgotten about those of you who are still dead-set on pursuing a legal career.

Perhaps you're a fresh-faced, straight-out-of-undergrad future barrister, eager to get your Elle Woods on right away. Or perhaps you're at a crossroads, and are waiting for the right moment to change course and go back to school.

However you've arrived at this point in your life, here are a few considerations to help you decide when to go to law school:

  • Are you already burned out? While it may seem like the next logical step for you as a college graduate is to start applying and attending law school immediately after you've completed your undergraduate education, you may want to think this one through. Law school is a different beast from college. Not only do attorneys easily burn out, but law students do, too. So if you're feeling a little tired from years of schooling, it may be a better call to take a break to relax, recover, and rejuvenate yourself for law school in a year or two.
  • Will you be able to weather the job market? Ah, yes, the job market. While we may be beating a dead horse at this point, it's just that important that it bears repeating. The job market should definitely be one of the factors you consider in determining when you should go to law school. While it's impossible to predict the future, you can at least consider your financial stability, what your savings looks like (for those glorious loans), and whether you need to take a little more time off to save.
  • Are you prepared to sacrifice your personal life? Regardless of how good you are at balancing it all, your personal life is likely to take a hit to some degree when you enter law school. This doesn't necessarily mean that you're bound for splitsville with your beau or that you'll lose all your friends, but maintaining your relationships and social life is definitely a huge consideration when deciding to apply to law school.
  • Do you know what you're really getting into? Lastly, remember, it's crucial that you are informed and prepared to go to law school. If you don't know what you're getting yourself into, it's well worth taking that additional year (or years) off to know for certain. Law school is a huge commitment and comes with financial, personal, and even emotional risks. It's not a choice to be taken lightly.

Remember, just because you know you want to go to law school doesn't mean that the timing is right. Huge decisions often turn on when they are made, so make sure you've considered everything with this one.

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