There’s only one good reason to attend law school: you want to practice law.
This means using the law to help people—help them dispute a debt, start a business, plan their estate, etc.
People who attend law school for other reasons are often wasting their time and money.
In fact, recent surveys show that many young lawyers are unhappy with their career choice and regret their decision to attend law school.
I believe that much of this unhappiness and regret stems from their misguided reasons for attending law school in the first place.
Here are three terrible—but very common—reasons people choose law school.
1. You Like to Argue
If you enjoy arguing, then you’ll probably hate the law.
This is because most legal problems are fixed through negotiation and compromise.
In fact, lawyers who like to argue often get the worst results for their clients.
Arguing wastes time.
It creates hostility.
And it often leads to litigation.
Most lawyers want to avoid this.
Instead, a good lawyer will resolve his clients’ legal problems in the quickest, most cost-efficient way.
He argues for his clients when necessary, but he doesn’t go out of his way looking for a fight.
So if you want to argue find another profession.
2. It Will Look Good on Your Resume
Every year law schools admit many students who have no intention of practicing law.
Why are they there?
They’re there because—in their minds—a law degree will look good on their resume.
It will make them more competitive in some other field—teaching, accounting, lobbying, etc.
No other professional schools experience this anomaly.
Think about it.
Who would get a doctorate in dentistry or pharmacy in order to get a job outside of those professions?
It makes no sense.
Law school is meant for only one type of person—an aspiring lawyer.
If you have other career goals in mind, then direct your time and talent elsewhere.
3. You Want Justice
If you have high ideals about justice, then the law is going to let you down.
Good people get screwed on a regular basis in courthouses and government offices across America.
There are a number of reasons.
But none is more common than procedural regulations.
They are countless.
And they often delay or completely thwart a person’s access to real justice.
As a lawyer you’ll often do no more than ensure procedural rules are followed.
You won’t be making grandiose arguments about justice and equality.
Instead, you’ll be filling out government forms, tracking deadlines and dealing with apathetic bureaucrats.
It’s not a bad job.
But it’s certainly not a heroic fight for justice.