Sunday, May 16, 2010

Run from the the Law

Some say that you should run from law school.  My advice is that you should be aware of all of your options and be honest with yourself.  Also realize that might not end up making six figures 6 months after law school and therefore, most of your income will be eaten up by loan payments and rent (or mortgage). If you don't mind that, then by all means go to law school.  Also do not over borrow no matter how tempting it might be. I'm serious.  The extra $10,000 you borrow today can cost you much more in the future. So try to live within your means rather than living it up in law school just to have to live under house arrest and eat ramen noodles after law school while you're trying to make ends meet.  

You should consider going to law school where you plan on living and/or practicing (this might matter less if you don't plan on practicing though). Also think about what you want to do with your law degree (if you actually know what you want to do!) because you might not need the degree (and the debt) to do what you want to do.

Business Cards

I recently ordered business cards for work and was wondering if I should put J.D. after my name even though I'm not in the practice of law. I was reminded that I earned this degree and it didn't matter whether I practiced law.   If you go to graduate school and get a PH.D. it would be acceptable to put PH.D after your name or be referred to as Dr. ___.

On a related note, in this economy, I think it important to think of the flexibility of the law degree and law license.  You can market your legal skills in your pursuit of a non-legal job. Many government agencies, businesses, and non-profits like having a lawyer on staff and they realize that it took a lot of time and effort (and intelligence) to get a JD and to pass the bar.

If you don't want to practice law in the traditional sense don't feel bad there really is a lot you can do with your legal skills outside the practice of law.  So go ahead and order those business cards and be proud of the J.D. behind your name!