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Law School - Is it Worth the Cost?
Is Law School Worth It?
Becoming an attorney can be very rewarding financially, intellectually and career wise. Should you make partner in a big corporate law firm, you may well be privileged to charge over $1,000 per hour and earn at least $2 million a year in salary. To achieve this is not necessarily an easy feat. Most have to excel academically in gaining their law degree, and be hired by a big corporate firm. It usually takes working your way up from the grunt work assigned and long tedious, dedicated hours demanded by the firm. Even doing all this, is not a guarantee of such great financial rewards.
However, over the last year law schools have seen a significant drop in applications. Enrollment for the academic year of 2011 is down sharply, over 11% , compared to 2010, according to the Law School Admission Council, Inc. Applications are the lowest since 2001. Law schools have had ever increasing tuition rising costs
Why Have Applications Have Been Declining?
Investing your time and money in getting a law degree may not pay off. The job market for those looking to enter the legal profession is plagued with certain challenges of job opportunities and high debt from student loans. Most law school graduates entered the choice field of corporate law. But many big and small firms have cut back on new hires in the recent past. Many law firms have not seen salary increases for new lawyers joining their companies. Law schools have had ever increasing rising cost, and with the abundance of lawyers already out in the job market, and the scarcity of jobs, students are rethinking about their career choices.
The American Bar Association in a report from 2009, stated that the average law school graduate could anticipate being debt for more than $100,000 from the school loans to get their degree. There is becoming an increasing concern about the value of obtaining a law degree and the benefits one may see from their schooling. With the economy making it increasingly difficult to find jobs in the legal field, some potential law students are wondering if they really need the amount of schooling that is required in order to get a better career. They are seriously questioning and evaluating if getting an advanced degree will give them better odds at furthering their job opportunities.
Graduate business school applications are also declining, although actual tabulations by the Graduate Management Admission Council have not been finalized for the 2011 academic year. In 2010, the applications declined by almost 2%, which was the first drop in business school applications since 2005.
Getting a Law Degree Is a lot of Hard Work
Initially, when the economy started to stumble, many students believed law school may offer the entrance into a field that would provide some better career opportunities. Now, it appears that law school does not givethat protection. Fordham Law School, in New York, for example saw a 15% decrease in student applications for 2011. Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri, saw an 11% decline. Across the United States, students are looking closely at the benefits and risks of getting a law degree. Law school may not give the financial payback it used to, and may not have the allure it once had to entice students.
Getting a law degree is not an easy accomplishment. First of all, enrolling in law school has many challenges that can be frustrating and discouraging, anxiety provoking, intimidating and overwhelming. Attempting to get into a good law school means heavy competition in order to be selected for one of the very limited slots. There are strict admission procedures and entrance exams, interviews with school administrators, and the work it takes to make yourself stand out above the hundreds of other applicants.
You have applied, get in, and then the arduous work begins. As soon as law school begins, you will be inundated with volumes of books, reading about law cases, plentiful research, and the never ending study of facts. Upon completing law school, a graduate must take an extremely difficult bar exam and other tests that grant a license to be a practicing attorney.
Choose Your Career to Fit Who You Are
When students look at all this effort, stress, and committment it takes and consider the expense of tuition for law school, many are looking at other career options. Entering law school, is a very important decision that someone needs to base many factors on.
Choosing a career is a very personal decision. It needs to be based on your own vision of what you want for yourself. You need to know what you want for yourself, where you want your dreams to take you and what your own passions are. Life is full of opportunities. Whatever your chosen profession, make yourself happy above all. Evaluate your choices, but remember you can always change things along the way. Learn as you go, and do what you love, then you will find contentment.
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