Is a Law Career Right for You?
Choosing to pursue a career in law or any other profession is a life-altering decision that should not be made lightly. Attending law school involves a significant investment of effort, time, and money, and you should therefore be confident that your decision is the right one for you before making the commitment. Gathering information on law school and the legal profession, and undertaking a thorough self-assessment will help ensure that you make the best decision.
Do you have a good reason to go to law school? Find out by taking our Paper Chase Quiz.
There are many good sources of information in print on law school and the legal profession. A number of pre-law books are available on 3-Day Reserve at Cudahy Library. You can also find these books online or at your local bookstore.
You can find plenty of free information on the Web about law school and legal careers. Check out the links we've posted at the Additional Resources page of this Website.
While books and web sites are useful starting points, they are not sufficient for getting the whole story on law school and the legal profession. There is no substitute for talking with people who have direct experience in the area. It is likely that you know someone (or know someone who knows someone) who is in law school or works as an attorney. Attempt to talk to them about life in law school and as an attorney.
Most people are more than happy to discuss their experiences and be of help as you contemplate taking a similar path. (One suggestion: learn the basics about law school and the profession before talking to them, as you'll be able to get more out of the discussion.)
Another way to discover if a legal career is right for you is to do a law-related internship, preferably during your junior year. Several departments have large internship programs with placements in law firms, government organizations, and nonprofit groups. Discuss your options with the internship director in one of these departments one semester before you plan to do the internship.
You can also learn more about law schools and the law school experience by attending the LSAC Recruitment Forum, which meets in Chicago every year in late September. Some students also attend an intensive, week-long Law Preview course the summer before their senior year.
Career Development Center
Assessing yourself can help you identify your interests, values, skills, and other characteristics that are important to consider when deciding on a career. The university's Career Development Center offers a variety of self-assessment and career-planning services that you may find useful.