Law School - Is Law School for Me?
Preparing for and applying to law school require an investment of time, energy, and finances. Hopefully, you will start the process of applying to law school after you have explored the legal profession and have come to the reasonable conclusion that it will provide a fulfilling career path for you. The questions below may help you evaluate your interests and needs for law school.
Have you validated and confirmed your interest in a legal career?
- Have you talked to practicing lawyers about the rewarding and challenging aspects of their careers? (Use the Berkeley Career Network to identify lawyers who are willing to grant you informational interviews.)
- Have you had an internship or job at a law firm or law related organization? (Use Handshake and internship resources)
- Have you attended law related information panels? (check the Career Center Events calendar for upcoming events; sign up for the Law CareerMail list for the latest information.)
- Have you observed or shadowed a lawyer on the job? (Use the Berkeley Career Network to identify lawyers who may let you observe them at work. Attend court hearings and trials. Participate in the Career Center's Winter Break Externship Program: sign up in late October.)
Why do you want to go to law school?
- Do you want to make a lot of money? (Not all types of lawyers make the same salary.)
- Are you stalling on making a career decision? (Have you talked to a career counselor?)
- Are you applying to law school because "everyone else is doing it?" (The decision to attend law school is ideally based on your own criteria.)
- Are you applying to law school because you feel like you have no career options? (Have you explored alternatives? Have you talked to a career counselor?)
- Are you delaying entry into the work world? (Have you conducted career research or talked with a career counselor?)
- Do you know what your short and long term goals are and how a law degree can help you achieve them?
Do you really want to be a law school student?
- Are you willing to invest the time, energy, and money associated with going to law school? Have you thoroughly investigated these costs?
- Are you prepared to spend the majority of the next 3 years studying?
- Do you need a break from school?
- Do you enjoy debating - in both verbal and written form? Are you able to read and digest large amounts of information in a short time period? Can you synthesize information and identify implications quickly?
- Can you handle the ambiguity of not receiving a grade until the end of the semester or year?