Hey, we get it. Making the decision to go to law school is no joke. You’re looking to sacrifice at least three years of your career, put in a ton of hours of study, and commit to tuition and living costs. It’s only right that you seriously consider your options in deciding whether law school is right for you. While you might find plenty of lawyers willing to give you their less-than-rosy perspectives, don’t forget to consider the positives. There are many reasons to get a law degree. Here are five:
1. Use Your Knowledge for a Good Cause
Someone once said, “There are plenty of attorneys out there, but there aren’t enough good attorneys.” Yes, there are surely many people getting their law degree, but what they choose to do with that degree varies widely. The best thing is, you can choose your own path, and that path can be for the greater good. While injustice exists, as it will for a very long time, there is always a need for upstanding attorneys. Take a look at the Innocence Project. They “exonerate the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reforms the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.” Not only would you be helping others, but you can find fulfillment in knowing that your work is producing results. In many communities, you might be one of the few attorneys doing work in a legal aid office or women’s shelter.
2. Develop Business Skills for a Lucrative Career
If you have a background in business or a passion for entrepreneurship, there’s no reason why you can’t combine these passions with law. A law degree will enable you to build a business centered around your valuable knowledge. If you think big enough, you can distinguish yourself from many other solo attorneys. Or, with a big enough vision, you can build your own firm from the ground up. With business savvy, you might even base your business model on class-action lawsuits, which can be pretty lucrative.
The most important thing to consider is how you’re going to translate your knowledge into success. It would be a mistake to assume that getting your law degree will automatically translate into wealth.
3. The Law is Powerful
Knowing the law and your rights is a powerful thing. It’s also a privilege in many communities. It can be much easier to navigate through your life if you aren’t intimidated by contracts and fine print (like Apple terms and agreements). And you can appreciate this power more by knowing that understanding the legal system is an extremely valuable asset. Many people can barely access this knowledge. You’ll more readily know your rights in cases like being stopped by the police.
4. You Can Help Shape the Future of Technology
Startups/emerging tech companies will need your help. Startups are popping up quickly, and with new technologies developing at such a quick pace, you have the opportunity to be a crucial part of this moment in history. New businesses are going to need help with “organizing, financing, talent, intellectual property, risk, regulation and other legal issues.” But while some of these new businesses are building the future of artificial intelligence, not only will they need help, but they’ll need human contact. While there are plenty of apps and gadgets for doing a human’s work, we aren’t at the point where a trusted attorney can be replaced. In fact, we might not ever reach that point. For example, Clerky is a site that acts as a legal document generator and assists with incorporating startups. However, even with sites like these, nothing can replace the solid guidance and advice of a seasoned attorney. Make the most out of this opportunity by figuring out exactly what your clients need, and what they can only get from another human being. So, this can be your chance to fill an important role that might translate into a better, more advanced future.
5. Find Great Challenges in Your Work
One of the best reasons to get a law degree is the fact that you can find consistent positive challenges in a legal career. You won’t have to settle for a routine if you aim to stay informed and ahead of the game. Your local bar association will not only offer the continuing legal education credits that are mandatory, but also interesting events that will enhance your knowledge and career. There’s always something to learn and ways to improve. And because networking is such an integral part of being an attorney, you can always be in contact with like-minded, educated professionals. If you’re looking for a career that offers stimulating challenges and strong networking, law could be for you!
Choose Reasons That Resonate With You
In the end, and most importantly, choose your reasons to get a law degree based on what makes sense to you. Hopefully, at least one of these reasons will fit what you’re interested in. I should also point out–don’t let reason two be your only one! To get a better chance of career satisfaction, try not to focus only on the money. Explore your past experiences, extra-curricular activities, and courses. Do you notice a trend? Do you lean towards work that benefits certain people in need? If so, maybe your best reason for going to law school is to be an advocate. Hopefully, these five reasons to get a law degree put you on the right track!