Forgive me, but I was almost happy to see this article today on CNN.com talking about how MBA students are taking on too much debt before finding there are no 6-figure jobs waiting for them. Yay, law schools are not the only evil graduate program accused of bilking poor, innocent ambitious students and forcing them to forgo financial security and quality of life for the next 25 years.
Ok, I’m being a bit overly dramatic. But you have to understand: I’ve spent the last 8 months exploring whether law school is worth the cost anymore, whether lawyers regret their careers, and what advice they offer to the next generation following in their footsteps given what they know about the current economy. Next month, my new book is coming out. It’s called: The Law School Decision Game: The Prospective Lawyer’s Playbook.” As part of my research for this book, I surveyed and interviewed 300 lawyers in order to pass their advice onto those of you (1) considering law school and (2) already in law school who are trying to build careers as lawyers. After reading the CNN article this morning (before my coffee) I felt I shouldn’t hold out on you – it’s important to share one of the many facts I learned while writing the book:
Although prospective lawyers believe the rank of a law school is more important than the cost of attendance, ACTUAL PRACTICING LAWYERS BELIEVE THE COST OF ATTENDANCE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN CHOOSING A LAW SCHOOL.
As you move forward to create your schools list for this year, I urge you to include schools where you will be in scholarship range or that will be cheaper to attend because of cost of living, in-state tuition, etc. You don’t have to make the choice about where to attend right now, but please at least give yourself the option because you might have a change of heart about spending the money when it comes time to make the decision. Loans can feel like play money, but it’s not fun anymore when you are paying them back.
For more information read these previous blog posts about Financing a Legal Education and listen to my Law School Expert Blog Talk Radio Show where I interview Derek Roberti, PhD, JD, about his book: Should I Go To Law School? The $100,000 Gamble.
I promise to share more little tid-bits from the book in the coming weeks.