3 Questions When Figuring Out Whether To Be A Lawyer - JD Advising
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September Bar Exam, Whether To Be A Lawyer

3 Questions When Figuring Out Whether To Be A Lawyer

Becoming an attorney is a well-respected career, however, it can be notoriously difficult. There’s your undergraduate education, the LSAT, three years of law school, and the bar exam to contend with. Tell people you’re an attorney and the first response is usually “Wow, that was a lot of school, right?” To which you respond, “yes, yes it was.” If you’re contemplating a career as a lawyer, you probably have questions regarding a whole host of topics. We’ll discuss some common questions in this post!

3 Questions When Figuring Out Whether To Be A Lawyer

What’s Law School Like?

If you’re figuring out whether to become a lawyer, looking at law school is a great place to start your research. Familiarizing yourself with the immense responsibility that attending law school entails, the cost of attendance, and the academic requirements are all important considerations to make before applying! In addition, make sure to investigate law school statistics, such as admission rates, retention rates, and average salaries upon graduation if there’s a particular school that attracts your attention. Ask a couple of law students or practicing attorneys (if you know of any) about their experiences. Law school is a three-year commitment that involves heavy workloads, academic pressure, and the environment can be competitive. It’s best to do your homework!

What Do Lawyers Actually Do On A Daily Basis?

If you’re figuring out whether to become a lawyer, it’s important to understand what lawyers do on a day-to-day basis. If your desire to be an attorney is based on popular movies and television shows, stop right there! While these movies and tv shows can be entertaining, it’s not an accurate depiction of what most attorneys do on a day-to-day basis. Attorneys are not always in a courtroom yelling or wheeling and dealing with opposing counsel. Some attorneys go their entire careers without ever stepping foot in a courtroom! Instead, lawyers focus on different matters depending on their practice area. Some attorneys handle transactional matters, some focus on civil litigation, some practice criminal law, some champion social justice issues, and some attorneys do all (or none) of the above!

What’s The Cost?

Law school is definitely an expensive endeavor! However, tuition isn’t the only cost associated with law school. If you’re figuring out whether to become a lawyer, make sure you’re aware of the costs. There are fees associated with taking the LSAT, expenses for taking the bar exam, and three years of law school tuition. In addition, there are costs for housing, books, and other living expenses. On top of all that, the majority of full-time law students typically do not remain employed during their first year of law school so they can better adjust to the workload of classes.

Also, be aware of the costs unrelated to finances. Becoming an attorney takes time. From start to finish, the whole process can take roughly four and a half years! That estimate includes:

  • Studying for and taking the LSAT;
  • Waiting to receive LSAT results;
  • Applying to law schools;
  • Waiting to hear back from law schools;
  • The time in between being admitted and starting law school;
  • Three years of law school;
  • Studying for and taking the bar exam;
  • Waiting to receive bar exam results; and
  • The time in between receiving bar exam results and getting sworn in as an attorney.

Even with all of that waiting time, your free time might be locked up with studying or other prior obligations.  Your social and familial networks will likely experience a shift as you dedicate your time to becoming a lawyer.  As you evaluate whether you want to pursue a legal career, don’t forget to factor in time and nonmonetary costs as you make your decision!

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