1. Medical School is too hard to attend on a whim. In order to become a doctor, you need to plan. It’s very hard to go to medical school “just because”. Business school is always an option, but if you are not sure you want to go into business or finance, the law degree is usually lingering somewhere in the back of your mind.
2. When someone first thinks about a Lawyer, they often think “successful”, “smart”, perhaps even “wealthy”. On more than one occasion, I have heard someone say, “Well, he’s a lawyer, so he’s no dummy”. Those of us who practiced law, know that this may not very well be the case. However, those adjectives are generally associated with the practice of law, and people are still attracted to this fantasy.
3. Further, many people at the beginning of their careers have trouble looking at the big picture and planning ahead (myself included). When a twenty-something is considering what to do with their life and career, especially after college, optimism takes over. Even though the facts are there, black and white, they turn the other cheek and hope for the best.
3. Lastly, there seems to be a growing generalization that a law degree is versatile, and can be applied to a multitude of jobs and careers. I do not disagree. In fact, I have worked in the insurance industry for over seven years and my law degree played a large part in getting me where I am today. I entered law school as the person who thought I was going to save the world, and drive around in a Bentley at the same time. After two years enduring the stress and anxiety of working at a New York City firm, I realized my life equated more to the “Devil Wears Prada” than to “A Time to Kill” . I then used my law degree to help me parlay my skills into a corporate job. I now spend my rare spare time helping other lawyers do the same.
4. Many would disagree with my positive spin on law school, but a law degree can never go to waste. While earning my J.D., I learned how to argue, negotiate, read contracts, deal with people, stand up for myself and become an all around stronger person. No, I don’t practice, and had I the chance to go back and do it again, I probably would do something completely different. However, the skills I learned are used on a daily basis not only in my day job, but also in daily life. (Car salesman run when they see me coming).
For all of the above reasons, this is why law schools are still packed, and in my opinion will continue to fill up year after year.