Should You Go to Law School


Welcome to LearnLawBetter. Are you wondering whether you should go to
law school? Would you like to get some objective information? Stay to the end, as I provide you with some
pros, cons, and then some advice. Don’t forget to hit the like button if you
enjoy the episode and click the subscribe button and bell if you don’t want to miss
any future episodes. Also, leave a comment with your questions. Hi, this is Beau Baez, and today I want to
discuss whether you should go to law school. Having taught thousands of law students, I’ve
seen many who are very happy with their choice and others that regret the decision to become
a lawyer. My goal today is to provide you with the advantages
and disadvantages, and not to try to persuade you one way or the other. The decision is yours. First, let’s look at the advantages. Critical Thinking Skills. Law schools do a superb job at teaching critical
thinking skills, and is one of the few disciplines that does this well. Law schools accomplish this through the use
of the Socratic method, lots of reading, and essay exams. Some years ago, I was in a meeting with about
30 people, all of whom had PhDs. As we were talking, I was surprised at the
lack of critical thinking in the room. It’s not that I was any smarter, because I wasn’t. It’s just that I was trained to think critically,
and they were not. Prestige. Lawyers are viewed as leaders in the community. When you tell others you’re a lawyer, that
automatically changes the way that people view you. While often this is a good thing, at other
times you will find that people become hostile to you because of their perception to the legal profession. Wealth. A very small percentage of lawyers get wealthy,
either through owning a firm or becoming the CEO of a large corporation. More on this in a moment. Now, let’s move to the disadvantages. Cost. Law school costs lots of money, with most
students financing their education through loans. When you add undergraduate and law school
loans, you could have purchased a very nice home. A few ways to control costs is by going to
either a low cost public law school, getting a scholarship, or living in safe but inexpensive apartment complex. As of today, I have been making my loan payments
for 23 years—7 more to go. Salaries. Most law students don’t make a lot of money
right out of law school. For those that do, they almost all graduate
from the top law schools. Also, as of today, there is a legal recession,
and graduates from almost every law school are finding it hard to find legal work. All this being said, over a lifetime, most
lawyers tend to make more than the average American—not rich, but comfortably middle
class. Work-Life Balance. There is very little work-life balance for
most lawyers. When you are at trial, or a project is
due, you must put the time in to get it done. I’ve heard countless stories from lawyers who have had to cancel vacation plans at the last minute. When I was in practice with the government,
I called a lawyer who was representing a client before my agency. After a few minutes, he mentioned he was on
vacation in Tahiti. And I was frankly just shocked that someone on vacation, in Tahiti, was still taking business calls. Personal Problems. Lawyers suffer from high levels of depression
and substance abuse. As I was preparing this episode, it was reported
that 25% of students at one of the most prestigious law schools in America are suffering
from depression, and 20% are at a heightened risk of suicide. Now, some advice on what you can do to figure
out if law school is for you. Talk to Lawyers. Go and find out what lawyers actually do. Most lawyers would be glad to spend time with you, and help you figure out if law school is right for you. Ask questions like “what’s your normal
day like,” or “how much time do you spend in the court room.” Career Path. If you are going into law because you want
to do something specific, like fighting human trafficking, working for the Department of
Justice, or becoming a judge, find out how realistic this is. For example, you may have identified a specific
nonprofit that you want to work for. But, they might only hire three or four people
a year. And at that, only from the top law schools. I worked at a small government agency, and
when I started with them, all of the lawyers had graduated from elite law schools. Also, find out what lawyers in your desired
career path actually do. I went to law school I wanted to
do international law because I thought that would be a lot of great international travel. I quickly found out that international lawyers stay at their desks, examining lots of documents. And little to no international travel. Uncertainty. Many people go to law school because they
don’t know what else to do after college. Stop and take some time off, even if that
means taking a job that you don’t find rewarding. Go get a job at a law firm. And figure out what lawyers actually do. Even if you don’t work at a law firm, you
can still take the time to reflect on your next career path, rather than entering a profession
that you might not enjoy. Finally, keep in mind that this is your journey. If after doing all the research you’ve decided
that you want to go to law school, then do so. But go into the journey with your eyes wide
open. If you enjoyed this material, hit the like
button. Also, to avoid missing any future episodes,
hit the subscribe and bell buttons. For more resources to help you get ahead,
including my blog and newsletter, check out LearnLawBetter.com. Thanks for watching.

100 Replies to “Should You Go to Law School

  1. I honestly don't know if law school taught me more critical thinking than my BA. I felt swamped in the reading most of the time, to the point that I did not feel I had time to reflect on it much. I usually felt guilty about not reading everything and this hampered my class participation, and I was scared of being wrong. The essays in exams helped but were no different to BA essays, and the time pressure made them feel rushed and sub standard. I know if I had given myself over completely to study I would have enjoyed law school more, but I couldn't stand spending so many hours in the dry, dry material. Law school taught me resilience more than anything else.

  2. I currently am a music major but I've become very interested in law school. I have very good critical thinking skills and I love debating. I want to run for office one day too maybe. I thought maybe I could use my experience with music and specialize in copyright laws, specifically for music. Some current lawyers apparently don't know how music works, such as the stupid $100 million case against Ed Sheeran for the very basic, very commonly used chord progression used in his song, "Thinking Out Loud". It is the most ridiculous case I have ever heard of before. I think that my experience as a musician and formal study of music in college could help me greatly to specialize in this area. Thanks for this video though! It's very helpful. I think I have decided to go to law school now. I am just worried now about preparing for it. I am a current sufferer of social anxiety(the fear of being judged) and depression so I am worried I might not be able to do it, but I am currently being treated, and surprisingly, debating eases my anxiety actually because I personally like debating and it makes me feel more confident, especially if it's an issue I am well informed of. The three law schools I am looking at now are Georgia State University, University of Georgia, and Emory University.

  3. What's the difference between the "top law schools" and I guess the " bottom law schools" if they are teaching the same thing!!??

  4. finally … I just want to be a lawyer. can you do more videos about how one can be trained into critical thinking or something like qualities of a law student

  5. Can you still become a lawyer if you're shy or reserved? I'm interested in law but I'm worried that it may not fit my personality.

  6. I really love history and was considering majoring history then going to law school but I wanted like a back up plan for of law school doesn’t work for me that I can go back to my bachelors degree and this is no offense to history majors but I don’t see much jobs that would be interesting besides lawyer that come from a history degree , so I thought about double majoring history with computer science , except those are completely unrelated and I’m just very confused on what I wanna do .

  7. How can I get in touch with Mr. Baez? I had some personal questions for him, if he was willing to assist. Thank you in advance.

  8. Hello Sir
    Would a political science degree with concentration in Pre Law be a good start for me to become an attorney?

  9. So essentially lawyers learn how not to be victimized by the numerous logical fallacies used in society and they use critical thinking by using the 7 liberal arts and sciences known as the Trivium and Quadrivium. As the saying goes, a leader is a reader.

  10. Nice video.
    My thoughts are, if you love an area of law so much that you couldn't live without it, then go be an attorney. Otherwise, pursue a different path. Law school will land you a middle-class salary with 6 figures in debt. Also, it seems like most law schools (even those attached to a major university) are just money suckers trying to take advantage of students wanting to be attorneys. There are few law schools which actually can put you on track for a profitable career in the law. There are always exceptions, but the whole stigma about the "T14" really is true.

  11. So I used to work in litigation consulting (I am a cpa) we worked on preparing an expert for testimony I hated the hours and the stress – drop everything last minute – random fire drills etc. the work was also mundane and tedious a lot of email review and looking at documents, making binders etc people freaking out about minor formatting shit, summarizing depositions, rewriting and writing reports. Is this the life of an attorney?

  12. I really appreciate you doing a video on the subject of, "Should I Go to Law School?" I recall in another video you mentioning that you went to law school at Georgetown? What are you thoughts on Georgetown's Law School? What was your experience like? Finally, as a working adult, I am curious to know your thoughts on Georgetown's Part-Time Evening Program? Any feedback provided would be greatly appreciated.

  13. I have a BA and MA. I'm 38 years old and looking into a career change (federal law enforcement). Is it worth it at this point in my life? Especially considering the cost.

  14. Truly informative. Thank you.
    I'm in the last semester of political Science hons,Delhi(India). I have interest in learning about justice and human rights. Want to work for the upliftment of socially/economically backward communities, but also want a job that assures my financial stability.
    I've two questions regarding this-
    1)Will a degree in law help me get there? Or should I go for masters in public policy? How are these two different?
    2) What kind of path I need to choose after LL.B to ensure that I serve the minorities.

    PS: I'm ready to work hard.Nothing comes easy, I totally get it. But I want to know that would this path be correct for me?

    Would be really thankful for your guidance.

  15. Currently in my second semester of law school and I've yet to hit 20 years old. Here in my country, we can take law as an undergrad degree. I read books and even worked at a law firm before going into law school, but even then I was feeling unsure if this was for me. Right now though, I'm enjoying my studies so I don't regret my decision. I guess no amount of preparatory work beats actual studying in figuring out if law school suits you, but you'll never know if you never try. Good luck to those who are considering whether to enter law school!

  16. We just dealt with an immigration attorney. Sadly he didn't seem happy. He's helping families build lives as much as doctors and nurses do. He's young and very bright. He should hold his head high and be proud. We are thankful for his services.

  17. Well, I am a lawyer and disagree with most of his pronouncements so far. If you are interested in law school, speak to a wide range of lawyers.

  18. The public in general don't revere lawyers. I read an article once that put lawyers only second to car salesman. Friends of mine have a nephew that when he got his certificate, he exclaimed, "now I have a license to steal." I have spent over 100 hours in a public law library to research law because I found out three attorneys lied to me about my car wreck case where liability was clear and injuries were documented. One of them filed a "fraud on the court" suit in my name after the defendant pled guilty to running a red light. In Georgia, insurance pays when liability is clear. In my research, the driver who is a CDL driver and driving a work truck, is under Federal regulations to have a minimum liability policy of $750,000. All attorneys on both sides and Nationwide Insurance kept that from me. So now, this simple liability case has what I believe, insurance fraud, fraud on the court, bad faith, frivolous litigation, malpractice, violations of due process, punitive and I'm sure more than I'm aware. Now, I can't find an attorney that will touch this with a ten foot pole. For obvious reasons. They ALL thought I was easy prey. I'm a 63 year old female hairdresser and I'm not giving up. I'm going public.

  19. It was there all along but I didn't see it. Law school is not for me. Although my father expects me to follow his legal career, my only motivation is to become a city firefighter. Thanks  for pointing me in the right direction sir.

  20. Sir, are the TV shows a factual depiction of court…Judge Judy, Peoples Court? This is how much of society forms their opinions. A police captain told me the behind-the-scenes on Law & Order are mostly accurate regarding prosecutors, cops, and defense attorneys. Hope I'm not asking too many dumb questions. Thank you.

  21. I felt like you were talking to me when you said to stop and take a job and learn and see what a lawyer does. I’m a pre Physician assistant student, I felt comfortable with my standing as a candidate until this last year of my undergrad where I’m seeing a shift in pre med students now wanting to leave behind their pursue of MD/DO and switching to PA making the applicant pool WAAAY more competitive with their high gpa’s. I’ve felt discouraged and considered law as I’ve always had a liking toward it. I think the best thing for me is to graduate this May and continue working and making myself a stronger applicant. I hope my passion for the position shows, I’ve wanted to be a PA since high school.

  22. I have an Arts degree and various types of work experience, though not law based, does this stand in good stead for getting onto a law course? And what characteristics/traits are important for practising law?

  23. This was a brilliant video. The best on YouTube and it’s not even a competition. Keep up the great work, you earned a new subscriber.

  24. I want to go to law school but I do not want to fail. In my undergrad program, I took a class called "Law and the legal profession." I put my heart and strength into that class. One day the professor had a list of names and said "If your name is called, please stay after the class." Sadly, my name was called. After class ended and the uncalled name of students left, he said to the students whose name were called "If this was law school, you all would be kicked out." I passed the class with a B. Ever since I graduated Florida International University with a 3.89 GPA, I made the decision to prevent myself from a possible heartbreak and just study to become a police officer. This one professor took any possible hopes of me wanting to go to law school simply because he is a lawyer. I want to help people. I truly think I could've made a difference.

  25. Could you give me any insight into the social communication aspect of law? I’m interested in talking to people and putting my extroverted personality to good use, but not all the time. What % of the time would you expect lawyers are talking to others?

  26. This is (was) 509. I attended a federal trial. It seemed to be a matter of compromises compared to analysis of law. The judge played "nice guy" and gave equally to both sides.

  27. I think many People should know the law. Whether it be in Law School, Law Library, or Law Internet. These People do not get it. How can I be messing with them? When I am trying to learn me. They have no concept of their harassments obviously. Here I minding my business. They keep making it appear that I am bothering them. I just got finish surviving pints of blood released from my body that many young Girls told me they have been experiencing since a young age. I do not call it a cycle. I call it a curse. There is not any way a Woman should lose that much blood. Then People have the nerves to wonder why we are dizzy. Why are we dizzy? Why are we alive? There is not any way Women can be alive after losing that much blood. All the Doctors used to tell me was Tajai that's normal…We cannot do anything for you. Take an over the counter relaxer like Ibuprofen, Aleve, or Tylenol. Tylenol does not work. It lets you know off the bat. You are on your own. Do that sounds like a Woman who have time for People to get on her nerves? These People need to learn the law. The slander that they have caused against me. I need to be paid. They know very well I am not thinking about them. Too busy thinking about me. Maintaining my weight. Eating fruits and vegetables. Drinking Apple juice and Cranberry juice. These People need counseling too. They wish I had time to mess with them. I don't have any time to mess with them. I have tome to collect my dividends and get into my Business. I don't mind relocating. I need my money FIRST…I am not running from any troublemakers. I am confronting them with intelligence and letting them know that they do not have any importance in my life. I do not DO crazy. I do discussing issues that are relevant…

  28. Absolutely NOBODY should be thinking of law school in 2019. Are you shitting me? There's over 1.2 million lawyers in this country. I can GUARANTEE that there isn't 1.2 million lawyers' worth of billable legal work out there. I've been a lawyer for 14 years and in that time, I've seen the legal profession and job market go from crap to a never-ending sushi conveyor belt of flaming cat shit. Personally, I've had enough and I'm heading to dental school. If anyone is even contemplating law school, first put down your crack pipe. Next, PLEASE go work for 3 months as a paralegal at any law firm. I promise you that'll cure you of any insane desire to ruin your life by becoming a lawyer.

  29. Gud day sir, i have taken a series of exams this year, and i notice that i have low critical thinking skills based on the results of this exams. I was actually inspired to study law for some reasons. My question is, could this be an hindrance of my plan in pursuing law course?

  30. hi, im just curious. do you need to memorize the numbers of all the laws? is this important to pass law school and the bar exam?

  31. You forgot to mention that law school also teaches people on how to be a crook. Rudy Giuliani, Ted Cruz, for example….

  32. Don't study law in the US. Study in the UK, it's significantly cheaper and then you can sit the US bar in New York. The training in the UK is superior to that of the US in regard to corporate law.

  33. Im a law student. Its just my 1st year but my grades are very low. I like to read but Its really hard for me to what to write at the exams.
    Actually I dont think I will be a typical lawyer too. I didnt come here for prestige. I just wanted to know better and defense myself and others. But other people in this field looks so agressive for me. I mean may be Its meant to be that way. May be I should have chose different thing. But I always wanted this and I dont want to quit. Being a bit naive and dont know what to do in some social situtations I hope wont bother me that much in the future.
    Btw can you do a video about international law and how to get in touch with global field after law school? Im in a foreign country but I love to learn other cultures. But being a ambassador and diplomat kinda things very very hard in here. Im just looking for what can I do while being lawyer. Should I go to companies law or public law?

  34. ANSWER: "Should YOU go to law school?" Well, before clicking on this video your conscious projected an emotion of your understanding of Law/school, whether developing from psychosocial or other developmental experiences; in which i conduce- that if you didn't objectively answer similarily "YES" or "fuck this guy, i dont care. Its what i love." or possibly "I wish, I am, therefore, i will be" , you probably need some time for interstellar thought to rationalize what you really want. EMPHASIZING!: what makes you happy and fulfilled (which is NEVER in money but in social, communal, reinforcements.) If you thought about the question and didn't display a specific sense of certainty in the title of this video starting dreaming. YOLO!

  35. I've always wondered about the prospects for lawyers who go into business law. Any thoughts?

  36. PhD graduates are critical thinkers, in order to complete their dissertation they have to create a new contribution to their field of study. You can't do that without a lot of critical thinking

  37. LMAO. Phds less critical thought than a graduate/professional / entry level degree like a J.D.or L.L.B.? Wtf… Anyone else critically catch that bologna? gtfoh

  38. This video has nothing to do with day to day law school. All of these reasons are terrible reasons to put yourself through the hell that is law school. Go because you enjoy being alone, enjoy reading 8 hours a day. Law is ambiguous so you will never have answers that are 100 percent right. So if you can spend days without speaking to another human and enjoy being wrong after putting in all that work, go! You will love it!!

  39. Every job can be stressful and lead you to depression , anxiety, panic attack etc it's just some people manage to handle it best way to do it is to completely shut your concience and become cold in some sort of way !

  40. I read "The Paper Chase", "1L" and "Rooster Bar" I have to get a Bachelor's degree first, English and Paralegal. Then Law School. Nearby. I want to go for the analytical thinking. Do the Socratic/Case Method have to be intimidating? HLS from these books. I have a unique interest in "Stigmatized Properties: Haunted Houses" I have LD, ADD and a lot of tenacity! I hope I could be successful. I enjoy learning, I live in Western Mass.

  41. I like writing legal briefs. I took Business Law 1,2. I will look into volunteering with local lawyers before continuing my education.I have two Associate Degrees. I love to read, ask "Why" questions and think analytically. Would I be an asset to law school?
    A great lawyer?

  42. I'm surprised how this gentleman did not mention the fact that many people are eligible to go to law school or even med school CONPLETELY FOR FREEEEEEE!!! However, it does require some planning. Technically speaking, once an individual who already HAS a Bachelor's degree can serve in the US Army for a period of 3 years which will allow them to acquire 100% GI Bill benefits. These benefits, along with what is known as the Yellow ribbon program, can make it to where a potential law student or med student can graduate completely tuition free; not many people know of this perk but those who take advantage of it can really save some big bucks while also having the opportunity to serve this great nation 🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲!!!!!!!!

  43. Pros:
    Learn Critical Thinking
    Prestige
    Wealth

    Cons:
    Expensive
    Don't make much money out of law school, hard to find work, can live comfortably middle-class
    Work-Life Balance
    Personal problems such as depression

    Tips:
    Talk to lawyers to see if law is right for you
    If you are going into law to fight for something specific, think about how realistic that actually is
    Find out what lawyers in your desired career path actually do
    Do not go to law school because you don't know what you want to do after undergraduate school

  44. News Flash! Only 10% of students graduate in the top ten percent of their class!

    As a general rule, big law hires only from the top 10%

    Law schools have been graduating twice as many lawyers as the economy can absorb for over 30 years. The field is seriously glutted; jobs are hard to find, even with years of experience; even if you find a job, it will not pay well; firms expect long hours, assuming you find work in a firm.

    You do not pick what area you will practice in. The area picks you. If the only job offer you get comes from a public utilities firm, you will be a public utilities lawyer. If you are offered a job at a family law firm, you will be doing family law.

    There is a good chance you will get a job that does not require a law degree. This means you would have wasted three years of your life and incurred $200,000 in debt for nothing.

    Law school itself is a waste of time and money. You will learn everything you need to know to pass the bar in the bar review course. Law school will teach you almost nothing that you need to know in your employment as a lawyer. If you are lucky, a firm will teach you. Otherwise, you will learn by trial and error.

    There is no such thing as international law. International business work is handled by big law. If you are not in the top 10% of your class, you do not stand a chance of getting a job in this field.

  45. Example: i was in a room with accredited smart people. They didn't think critically while i did. No evidence given. My critical thinking tells me this guy is poor at presenting convincing evidence.

  46. I am subscribing because of my grand daughter she has started a job at a lawyers office and is going to school for a paralegal and hopes of making the money to go for a lawyer later she is 16 right now. So if you see comment from this name it may be her so please be kind.

  47. I'm honestly so grateful that law school in my country is free. I've never really thought of it even being an obstacle, but you talking about student loans and such really puts it in perspective

  48. You could also suggest that a youngster attend a real trial from beginning to end, just to see how tedious it is compared to a legal drama in a movie.
    Once at a social event, Samuel Johnson said "I would be loath to speak ill of any person who I do not know deserves it, but I am afraid he is an attorney."

  49. My writing skills aren't the greatest, but I am the type of person who with time could improve my writing on an assignment for example but in one go I am not the strongest. I heard there is a lot of writing and reading, the writing piece is the only thing making me doubt if i should go into law school if i can succeed with average writing skills? I love public speaking and I am neutral about reading

  50. Mr. Baez,
    I am thrilled to see your videos and they have lead me in much self reflection and consideration about future career changes in recent days.

    I am wondering, is it possible to read books and do personal study enough to have the knowledge of a particular section of law (like you mentioned, perhaps you have a personal affinity toward causes like maybe human trafficking or general civic issues) enough to have the knowledge equivalent to a lawyer in that field of study? Not of course to be a lawyer since I’m aware there is specific exams and tests to pass to hold the title of lawyer, but is it possible to be able to read your way to the knowledge of a lawyer or is there hidden information you can only get at law school?

  51. Spot on with this video. Very honest and accurate. I'm a young lawyer myself and it's too late for me to reverse that, but at least anyone else who is considering pursuing this career path can benefit from these points. It wasn't worth it for me and I've joined the military and have had to go back to university to get qualified in a different profession. I have a video about my experiences too, which were (spoiler alert): just as dismal as this video puts it.

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