Argument: Law school is better than most alternatives

Issue Report: Law school


Comment on Above the Law: “even if you look at it as an over-priced lottery ticket, it still beats the alternative. What the hell do you do with an English degree anyway? Or a History degree? Or any one of the dozens of useless bachelors degrees out there? Not much of anything.”

The 30-something law student: “[T]ell me, which job market is good right now? Medicine? Engineering? Even those have been hit to some degree. The truth is, there is no good job market right now. The whole country is in a depression, and every field is tough to break into.”[1]

David Lat. “In Defense of Going to Law School.” Above the Law. July 13th, 2010: “law isn’t the only field that’s suffering. And many of the professions that are in similarly dire straits, such as journalism and publishing, are the ones that used to welcome the humanities and soft-sciences majors who flock to law school. To quote the great song from Avenue Q, “What do you do with a B.A. in English?” (No offense to English majors — I was one myself.)

The lack of opportunities in other fields affects the decision to go to law school in at least two ways. First, it reduces the opportunity cost of the three years you spend in law school (as noted by Professor Sarah Waldeck over at Concurring Opinions, among many others). Thanks to the awful economy, most kids fresh out of college aren’t forgoing three years of a six-figure salary in order to go to law school; they might instead be missing out on a significant period of unemployment (a la Scott Nicholson).”