Before you start down this path, get to know a lawyer who does the type of work you think you want to do and arrange to shadow him/her for a few days. Only this way will you get a real taste of what a lawyer does day in and day out and get a better idea of whether that’s what you want to do.
Also, please read the article “The Creation of Legal Dependency: Law School in a Nutshell” by two professors who received degrees from Stanford University’s law school. And, in a more humorous vein, see if you can find a copy of 29 Reasons Not to Go to Law School by Ralph Warner and Toni Ihara, founders of Nolo Press – a highly-successful publisher of self-help law books.
If you're set on attending law school, you might want to check out Law Preview.
If you’re thinking you might want to go to law school and are wondering what you should major in for your undergraduate degree or what courses you should take in a general/liberal studies program, check out the following links:
Preparing for Law School (American Bar Association)
Suggested Pre-Law Courses (Boston College)
Pre-Law Curriculum (Wayne State University)
Law Professions Center (Central Michigan University)
If you’re just interested in the subject matter (e.g., contracts, torts, criminal law, property law, corporations law, family law, etc,) and don’t necessarily want to practice law, you can take individual undergraduate courses which will give you working knowledge of the various subjects, although (perhaps) not as much depth of knowledge as you’d get in law school. Or you might be interested in either a complete paralegal program or in just taking individual paralegal courses.
And, finally, it should go without saying that attending law school entails a serious financial commitment for most people. To put the costs into perspective, consider these nuggets, from the law school cost calculator page of AdmissionsDean.com. The costs mentioned do not include living expenses.
For more than a decade, the average cost of attending law school has increased much faster than the rate of inflation.
According to a Government Accountability Office report, the average debt for a private law school student is nearing $100,000.
The cost of three years of law school can easily exceed $150,000.
From 1997 to 2007, the median resident public law school tuition increased from $2,124 to $14,313, the median non-resident public tuition increased from $5,706 to $26,432, and the median private tuition increased $8,690 to $32,168.
Finally, when looking for a law school keep in mind that if it’s not accredited by the American Bar Association, you won’t be able to take a bar exam and practice law outside the state in which the school’s located and may not be able to take that state’s bar exam or be able to practice law in that state. Check the bar admission requirements of the state in which you want to practice to find out whether the school you’re thinking about will enable you to take the bar exam or practice law there.
There are currently no distance learning law schools which are ABA-accredited.
Know what’s in the water and at the bottom before jumping into the lake.