Contrary to mainstream thought that the best time to go to school is during a economic downturn, nothing can be further from the truth. The biggest reason why today is different is COST! The price of admission has gone to the moon and will continue to rise until the tuition bubble pops.
I speak to older attorneys on a daily basis and when I tell them how expensive tuition is today they go into shock. The first response is that "its just not worth it."
Many applicants are now awaiting their responses from law schools. I know it is an exciting and nervous time for many of you as I have been there. But one thing you HAVE to consider is WHETHER THE PRICE OF ADMISSION IS WORTH THE DEGREE! Any debt you incur from student loans will be nondischargeable. If you struggle finding a job after graduating the interest will get added to the principal which will further prolong your misery. If you go to a tier 3 or tier 4 your odds of finding full time legal employment will be even worse. Tier 1 grads are struggling so keep that in mind as the TTT commodes will be sending you their acceptance letters.
Also realize that there is a good chance that you will NOT enjoy the practice of law. The statistics of depression in the legal profession are downright shocking.
* 15-18% of attorneys will have substance abuse problem vs. 10% of general population.
* Over 1/3 of attorneys say they are dissatisfied and would choose another profession if they could.
* Attorneys have the highest rates of depression and suicide of any profession.
1/3rd of attorneys would leave if they could! I've spoken to many attorneys and they tell me to go back to the restaurants all the time. For now I'm having fun with my firm and don't mind the work for the next 7-10 years but the constant fighting with clients and defense attorneys will wear me down as it does many other attorneys. I have the option of getting out as my family own their own business. Do you have an exit option in the event that you absolutely hate the practice of law? Remember this crucial fact: AS AN ATTORNEY YOU WILL ALWAYS BE IN SOME KIND OF BATTLE, ALWAYS. THIS IS WHAT YOU GET PAID TO DO. If you enjoy perpetual psychological war then this profession is for you. If not then go do something else. I find myself being as friendly as possible with clients and defense counsel because always being in a fighting mood will just kill you. For example, Robert Kardashian,father of the Kardashian girls and the great criminal defense attorney died of cancer at the age of 59.
These are the facts:
3 years of law school, with the risk of getting booted at the end of the first year from lower ranked schools. 150k or more in debt upon graduation. Risk of failing the bar exam numerous times. Risk of never finding a legal job, or risk of being a temporary attorney or document review monkey. Then there is the risk that you do get a job as an associate but you hate it after a few years but find yourself stuck in this profession. Risk vs. reward. Think hard and well about your decision in the next few months. I know many of you will take this as an insult to your intelligence but in reality you will be smarter NOT to attend law school during this time. If you get in to a great school with some scholarship money and/or have familial financial support then go ahead and give it a shot. If not, then you risk ruining your life by becoming a debt slave.
Why today is the worst time to attend:
1. Shrinking profession as legal jobs are getting outsourced
2. A poorer nation will have less money for attorney services
3. Law schools pumping out 45,000 JD's per year irrespective of market conditions
4. More law schools getting accredited
5. Tuition rising at dangerously high rates
6. By the time you get licensed (hopefully) by the fall of 2014 there will be 200,000 more JD's running around desperate for work. You will be one of them as well.
The choice is yours.