Is Law School Really for Me?
Making the decision to pursue a degree in law can be a tough decision - I know it was for me. I had a lot of expectations in my mind about what it would be like to go to law school, and what obtaining a law degree would mean for me, not all of them positive (or correct). I hope that in sharing this post, I help dispel some law school myths and help you make a choice.
Myth #1: Getting a law degree means becoming a lawyer
This can, but doesn't have to be, the case. For a very long time, I never considered going to law school because to be entirely honest, the idea of becoming a lawyer was completely unappealing to me. (This would later change once I actually began studying law). The good news is that getting a law degree provides you with plenty of valuable transferable skills that you can use in other settings, like research, analysing arguments, and negotiation. These skills are incredibly useful for plenty of jobs in the business world, not just as a lawyer. In fact, many law graduates go on to pursue other careers like the civil service, consulting, diplomacy, politics and academia, to name a few.
Myth #2: Law is boring
My opinion on this might be slightly biased, but this is certainly not true. As a law student, you are almost guaranteed to enjoy some subjects much more than others (I'll take criminal law over property law any day), but overall the law is a very interesting and intellectually challenging subject. Not to mention, law is applicable to all of us every single day, and studying law teaches you a new way of thinking and looking at things. You never know what you might end up researching or studying - just this week, I ended up writing an essay about the legality of hair removal practices, and I'm currently writing a comparative legal dissertation on the impacts of social media on democracies. It is certainly not boring.
Myth #3: Law school has a toxic environment
Before I started law school, I thought no one would be willing to help each other out because we would all be competing with each other not just academically but for various post-graduate training opportunities. While there is an element of competition among peers, I wouldn't say that this is any more than healthy competition and that overall, students are incredibly supportive of each other. I won't lie and say it isn't a stressful degree, but knowing that everyone is going through this with you and you're all stressed together actually does help, and it's great having friends you can get into debates with about various current legal issues.
Conclusion: Is it worth it?
Law school is a big commitment in terms of both time and money, and post-graduate training opportunities are competitive. Only you can decide whether law school is the right choice for you, and the best advice I can give on deciding on whether to pursue a law degree is to ask yourself what you'd like to get from it. If you want to be a lawyer (particularly if you want the ability to practice in different legal jurisdictions), then obtaining a law degree is the obvious answer. If learning about the rules that shape our society and analysing different arguments sounds interesting and entertaining to you, then law school might be your best choice. If this isn't the case, it might be worth doing some more research on what you find interesting and choose an education path to reflect that.
I hope this has helped bust some law school myths and has provided you with some clarity on whether you should pursue a law degree. If you have any more common law school myths, leave a comment and I might just do a part 2. Stay tuned!