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Top Eight Reasons Not to Go to Law School

[Update: H. Luiz is not in law school, he says in an e-mail.]

As far as I can tell from reading his blog, H. Luiz is currently in law school. That does not mean, however, that he is happy there (even if "happy law student" is an oxymoron). Luiz has compiled a list of the top eight reasons not to go to law school. Were it not far too late for me to reconsider, his list might well scare me away.

Consider his top reason -- law school is "financial suicide." "F*ck what you heard about how much money you’re going to make when you pass the bar in 3 to 4 years -- you’re going to need at least 12 years of paying off that loan," he warns. His advice for those electing to forge ahead: "If you have a house - sell it; if you have children - sell them (but try to buy them back later)."

And then there is this encouraging observation about law school's effect on the psyche:

Law School will suck the creativity out of you. Law school is designed to make you a logical, stringent person who can quickly analyze any situation. There’s no room for creativity. Imagination? Imagination is for artists, chefs, bloggers, children, writers, Entrepreneurs, happy people -- not lawyers.

OK, so law school empties your wallet and shuts down the right side of your brain. But the bad news does not end there, according to Luiz. What else can the aspiring lawyer look forward to?

  • The loss of your significant other. Law students have a break-up rate of nearly 80 percent, he says. (I would love to know who compiled that stat.)
  • A brutal, multi-day bar exam. "You will study like an animal for three months, only surfacing from your dungeon to eat and feel some sunlight on your face for one insane exam."
  • Future unemployment. Hoping to land a job after graduation? Good luck, says Luiz.
  • Insane hours. Those fortunate enough to land jobs soon grasp their misfortune -- a life of 70-hour workweeks.
  • Law professors. "Law school professors are some of the most pretentious and arrogant people on earth," Luiz reports -- as if we needed to be told.
  • Harassment. Not of the sexual kind, but of the bothersome kind, as family and friends pester you for free advice.

I read Luiz's post certain there would be at least some glimmer of light at the end, but I was wrong. For anyone considering law school, he cautions, "Think twice, then think again."

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on July 21, 2009 at 11:36 AM | Permalink | Comments (25)


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