For the longest time, the legal profession has been among the most prestigious jobs mainly because of how much graduates can make once they find employment.
However, the last two decades have seen changes in the legal sector, such as high tuition fees and dwindling opportunities as technology takes on some of the tasks that require a lawyer to work on. As a result, people choosing law as a career path must consider whether taking a loan to go to law school is worth it.
If you are grappling with this question, this guide can make your decision-making much easier.
What Makes Getting Into The Legal Profession So Expensive?
If you choose law as a career path, you must be prepared to spend more time than most professions on education. First, you must take four years to earn a bachelor’s degree.
Additionally, you will need to take an additional three years at law school to earn a doctorate, which is necessary for every person wishing to practice law.
You may need a loan to get your undergraduate degree like other professions. So if you are considering advancing your career by going to law school, you will be getting additional lending, which can make your education debt relatively high.
Average Law School Debt
How much the tuition fee is to understand the average law school debt, a student could incur in three years. Public law schools average $29,000 per year for in-state students. Out-of-state students may have to pay up to $41,000. On the opposite side, private law schools charge an average of $49,000.
The workload in a law school can be pretty demanding, making it difficult for most students to juggle work and learning. This means that the majority of students will still need a way of funding other expenses such as accommodation, transport, and other basic needs.
So, on average most students will have accumulated as much as $145,500 in student debt by the time they leave law school.
How Much Will You Make After Law School
You are not guaranteed a job after graduating from law school. But if you land one, you can expect to earn a yearly salary equal to or greater than your total student debt. With such a salary, you can comfortably pay off your loan in ten years, making it worth taking it.
However, the fortunes are different for all law graduates as opportunities in the sector continue to dwindle. According to a report published in the New York Times in 2015, only 40% of law degree graduates found jobs in law firms in the year compared to 60% in 2000.
A study by SoFi, a lender that offers student loans for law school, suggests that the choice of law school may impact job prospects and salaries at law firms. Cornell University, New York University, and Columbia University are among the top law schools offering the best prospects in employment opportunities and higher salaries.
There is no way of knowing whether getting a law school student law is worth it because the circumstances may differ. So, deciding to take out a law school loan depends on individual circumstances.
If pursuing a legal career is your passion, taking out a loan may be worth it. Of course, it’s optional to obtain the entire loan from private lenders; exploring options such as federal student loans, which are cheaper and offer loan forgiveness in some instances, could be helpful.