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Pre-Law School Questions

Pre-Law School Questions You Need To Ask Yourself

Deciding to attend law school is a big decision in so many different ways. Law school attendance has financial, timing, social, stress, and a myriad of other factors. Clearly, there’s a lot that someone needs to consider before attending law school because it is a huge professional decision. Here are our top four pre-law school questions to ask yourself before making the big decision. Whether you’re newly admitted to law school (congratulations!), thinking about applying, or even taking the LSAT – these questions should help.

Pre-Law School Questions You Need To Ask Yourself

1. How Will I Pay For Law School?

Law school is one of the most expensive endeavors you will pay for in your life. Learn more about that in our post on the cost of going to law school. Law schools routinely charge between $40,000.00 to $50,000.00 per year – and that’s just for tuition! You still have books to pay for, living expenses to deal with, transportation costs, etc.…Law school is expensive. If you’re considering law school, have a plan in place for how you are going to pay for it. This might mean completely depending on student loans, a mix of student loans and family contributions, or some other arrangement. Having a financial plan before sitting down on day one of law school can make things much less stressful.

When assessing the financial commitment required of law school, it may become clear that a scholarship is essential to your attendance. Check out these tips on how to get a full-ride scholarship to law school!

2. Why Am I Going To Law School?

This isn’t something that anyone here at JD Advising can help you with. Reflect on your reasons for going to law school. Has this always been your plan? Do you have an interest in the legal system and its pros and cons? Do you just need something to fill your time after undergrad? Is this something you figured you would try out and see how it goes?

All of the questions above are examples of how you should be approaching your self-assessment for why you want to go. With a decision as big as attending law school, you want to make sure you’re going for the right reasons. Law school quickly weeds out those who “wanted to try it out” and/or “didn’t really know what else to do.” You don’t want to be one of those people after your first semester of law school that leaves. Not only will you have expended a significant amount of money, but you also wasted valuable time.

Here, we compiled a list of books to read before starting law school. While many are geared towards preparing for law school, others give a very realistic portrayal of what law school is actually like. Reading these books may help shed light on whether this journey is right for you!

3. Where Do I Want To Practice Law?

Ideally, you want to go to a law school in an area you could see yourself living and working in. Sure, there are exceptions to this piece of advice, especially for top-tiered schools. For example, if you want to live and work in Los Angeles, but get accepted to Harvard or Columbia. It makes sense to go to one of the best law schools in the country and then work elsewhere. Those schools have a national and global reach. For those that don’t get accepted to a top school, attend a school where you want to practice law. For example, if you want to practice in California, go to a California school, not a regional law school in Florida. The law school community and larger legal community are hubs of opportunity. If you’re in a Florida law school, you won’t be in tune with the opportunities available in the California market. (Not that it’s impossible to start a career across the country, it just comes with it’s challenges that you’ll need to be aware of and prepared to overcome!)

4. Am I Ready For The Change?

Law school will be a sharp change from the life you lead now. Going out on the weekends? Traveling? Making money? Have a family? All of these things will change when you enter law school, and you need to be prepared for that. For example, if you’re accustomed to going out every weekend and popping bottles – kiss that goodbye. If you love traveling and always plan big trips to experience other cultures – holiday break and spring break are about it. If you’re working a full-time job and plan on attending law school full-time – you won’t be able to do both. Many law schools prohibit students from working completely during their 1L year. Lastly, be prepared for family dynamics to change as well given law school’s immense time commitment. There are ways to balance and prioritize the things that are important to you so you won’t need to give anything up altogether. However, it will take preparing, planning, and change!

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