A lot of water has passed under the proverbial bridge since “Law School Labyrinth” was originally published in 2009. In those days, the economy was cruising along and all of us passengers were largely oblivious to what lay just around the corner. The big law firm hiring frenzy was insanity. New graduates who had likely never earned much more than minimum wage were making big six figures.
And then the bottom fell out.
Students who had suffered through three years of law school, and incurred mountainous debt in the process could not find jobs. The doomsayers and naysayers pounced. Time to look for big bucks somewhere else. Suddenly the “disaffected lawyer” was in vogue. People who loved to hate lawyers loved the fact that big firms had stopped hiring. Books and blogs were dedicated to eviscerating legal education and the profession. The question became “Is law school is worth it anymore?”
It’s the wrong question.
The real question to anyone facing the law school decision is simple: “Do you really want to be a lawyer?”
Why would anyone want to become a lawyer? At its core, the legal profession is a helping profession. It's a service business. That means we serve others. We help people to solve problems.
Now would be a great time to introspect a bit. Rather than worrying about whether you'll find a job after you graduate, ask yourself whether you are looking at law for the right reasons.
The law school labyrinth has always been a crucible of sorts. It’s tough, demanding and will probably change you in a profound way. But if you aren’t going into it for the right reasons, it’s going to be a very long, frustrating haul.