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The future for future lawyers is not certain, but one thing is for sure: it will change.
Fortunately for law students trying to plan ahead, there are trends in the law. They show the general direction of things, such as starting salaries and evolving practice areas.
But there are other considerations that should be part of every law student's strategy for a changing future. Here are a few to include in your plan:
Return on Investment
Seven years ago, post-graduate advisers were steering students away from law school because it wasn't worth it. A law degree cost more than $100,000 and the job market was shrinking.
Times are changing. Among other things, the economy seems to have winnowed out lesser law schools and opened up more opportunities for serious students.
Other Job Opportunities
Most people go to law school to become lawyers, but a law degree can be a gateway to other careers. That has never been more true than now, when technology is transforming the legal industry.
U.S. News & World Report, which tracks law schools as well as anybody, advises students to "explore the options that appeal to you, network with professionals in various positions and work with career services staff to create an effective employment strategy tailored to your interests."
Career planning should be part of a larger plan -- a life plan. Make sure you do something you enjoy -- 40 or more hours a week for the rest of your life.
"Also, think about your career trajectory in broad strokes," U.S. News says. "The reality is that you will likely hold many jobs after you've finished school."
Consider each job as preparation for the next chapter. After all, old lawyers don't die; they just lose their appeal.