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Why law school?

Students often say, “I have always wanted to be a lawyer,” but the path to choosing law school is never really that simple. It is important to take time to consider your motivations for law school and to reflect on them as you learn more about law school and legal practice.  

Common reasons for an initial interest in law school often include, “I like to argue,” "my family is full of lawyers,” and “I don’t know what else to do with my degree.” While these may be legitimate reasons to begin to consider law school, they are not adequate reasons to attend law school. After your initial interest, you need to explore law school and the skills required to succeed in it, learn about how to finance law school, and determine whether you will enjoy the practice of law. As you conduct this exploration, you should develop a well-reasoned, articulate explanation why law school is the best option to meet your goals. If you are unable to develop a strong reason for law school, you should explore possible alternatives such as graduate school or full-time employment.

It is important to develop a strong answer to “why law school?” to make sure it is right for you. A strong answer will also aid you in conversations with law school recruiters and perhaps in your personal statement when you apply.

Complete the Pre-Law Self Assessment to begin examining your interest in law school and your motivations.

Katherine E. Garren, J.D.
Pre-Law Adviser
Division of Undergraduate Studies
The Pennsylvania State University
101 Grange Building
University Park, PA 16802
Email: keg146@psu.edu

Phone: 814-865-7576
Fax: 814-863-8913
Hours: 8am - 5pm (Mon-Fri, Eastern Time)

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