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April 21, 2005

First, Make a Case: Is Law School for You?

The Washington Post reviews the new book intended to help you decide whether to attend or finish law school—Should You Really Be A Lawyer?

Schneider and Belsky encourage would-be law students to really consider the cost of attending law school. The debts you take on, and the opportunity costs of spending three years of your life pursuing this degree will have an impact on the rest of your life. Once you're in school, it's hard to fight the momentum that will keep you there, and then sweep you into a career you may not be suited for.

And yet, law school applicants rarely perform even basic number-crunching before signing up for the LSAT, Schneider and Belsky contend. As a result, while half of all law students come in saying they want to do public interest work, less than 4 percent wind up in such fields -- mainly because of their debt loads, which can easily reach six-figures.

This is the most complete and helpful review I've yet seen so if you've wondered whether you should buy this book, I definitely recommend you check out this review. Also, Deborah Schneider, one of the book's authors, will be doing an online chat on May 6th at 2 p.m. here. Get your questions ready!

Posted by mowabb at April 21, 2005 10:29 AM

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I bit the bullet and bought this book a few weeks ago amidst some serious 1L summer career angst. The book is split into three parts - one for "to-be" law students, one for students, and the third for practicing attorneys. A lot of the material is repetitive from section to section; perhaps this could have been three separate, smaller, less expensive books. Without formally having done the assessments (like Cosmo magazine quizzes for law students - think "30-50 points: You really want to be a lawyer!"), the book seems that it would be helpful on the most superficial level--that is, to convince anyone who questions their position to take further steps to examine why they are where they are and where they really want to go. There are some helpful links and resources to explore in the "toolkit" at the end of the book. If you're too lazy (or busy) to visit a career counselor or admissions adviser, this might be a good beginning book for you.

A big distraction in the book was the 6 typos I found in the first 80 pages or so. "Should I Fire My Editor?" might have been a better title.

Posted by: at July 1, 2005 12:26 AM