What are two tried and true professions that all parents would love for their kids to pursue? Doctor and lawyer. For those aspiring to enter the world of law and make a difference in the lives of others have a long, tough road ahead of them. However, no major is safe from myths.
What myths mainly do is serve the purpose of scaring people with misinformation. It’s important to know the fact from the fiction early on so future law students don’t find themselves faced with unpleasant surprises. The following law school myths may be a bit of a downer but it isn’t about bursting anyone’s bubble, but instead knowing whether or not the path of a lawyer is the right one for you.
Myth #1: A Law Degree Means Big Bucks
It is true that lawyers can pull in up to six-figure salaries. However, there’s another side to a law career that typically doesn’t get the spotlight: the starving law school graduate with tons of student loan debt. The truth is that a law career can be lucrative if you happen to be among the lucky 18%. But nearly half (48%) of graduates end up making anywhere from $40,000 – $65,000/year.
That may not seem so bad but once you factor in cost of living expenses, student loan payments and other items, it’ll be easy to see how the expense of pursuing law tends to cost more than the salary one hopes to be rewarded with in the end.
Myth #2: Defense Attorneys & Prosecutors Are the Most Successful Law Jobs
If that were true, other law jobs probably wouldn’t exist. Shows like Law & Order have undoubtedly influenced many to believe that training to become a prosecutor or defense attorney is the end-all, be-all of law school. While these job positions are considered big-league, there are many other types of law careers worth pursuing.
There are many lawyers that make a successful living at handling situations like consumer fraud, litigation, property insurance, bankruptcy, workers compensation and structured settlement cases, among many others.
Myth #3: Placing in the Top 10% Is the Only Way to Get a Job After Graduation
While it is good to achieve high marks, there is more to getting through law school than seeking the highest grades. Many students believe that being in the top 10% during their undergrad years means they’ve got the intellect and know-how to transition to this same spot once they enter law school.
However, what law firms and other types of employers seek in employees are well-rounded individuals that not only have degrees from prominent schools like the University of San Francisco School of Law in the San Francisco Bay Area, but those who have a strong grasp as to what the law stands for and how to use it gain favorable results. If a person doesn’t graduate in the top 10%, that doesn’t mean their prospects will be non-existent. The strength of their resume, work experience and other factors are just as important as their grades.