– Hey legal eagles.
Law school is really expensive,
so students are always asking me if they should work
during law school to help defray the cost.
Well today we’re gonna talk about the pros and cons
of working during law school and whether it’s right for you.
By the end of this video you’ll know
whether you should take a job while being
a full time law student, so stick around.
(soft rhythmic instrumental music)
Law school is an investment, it has a high upfront cost,
tuition is often over 50,000 dollars per year,
plus living expenses which add in another
20 to 30,000 dollars.
It’s not uncommon for students to graduate
with over 200,000 dollars in law school debt alone,
so I understand the inclination to work during law school
to help defray some of those costs.
The question is should you work during law school?
Is it worth it?
In my opinion, if you are a full time law student,
no, you should not work during law school,
absolutely not, don’t even think about it,
and there’s several reasons for this.
First, law school is like having two full time jobs
already, you go to class from 10 to three,
and then study from three to nine,
and you work weekends as well.
Law school alone just doing the studying
and preparing for class and going to class
is basically like two full time jobs back to back.
It doesn’t seem like there’s additional time
to factor in another full time job.
On top of that law school entails a different kind
of studying than most people are used to
and it will take you longer to prepare for class
than you’re accustomed to.
You will read so much more than you did in college
and unlike college you can’t fake reading
the assigned reading like you did before
in your classes in undergrad.
Almost all first year law students
face a very steep learning curve.
You’re going to have a vocabulary of words
that you’ve never heard before or regular words
that have a different meaning in the legal context,
it’s a whole new set of rules.
It’s like learning piano, guitar, and chess
all at the same time concurrently in different classes.
And that’s why the ABA actually puts a limit
on how much you can work in law school.
The ABA says that you can work no more than 20 hours
per week for full time law students.
So they’re cognizant of the fact that you should be
focusing on law school and not other,
other monetary opportunities.
Another factor is stress, law school is already
considered the most stressful time in students’ lives.
I’ve seen Marines have mental breakdowns
under the stress of law school, so adding another job
on top of that is just a recipe for disaster.
But most importantly, the thing about law school
is that grades matter.
The most important thing that you can do
to get the job that you want in the legal field
is to get good grades.
Grades are 90% of what it takes to get the job
that you want, whether it’s a big firm job
or a clerkship or going into public interest,
everyone is going to look at your grades
and better grades will open up more opportunities.
And if you take on a job you will be competing
against students who are not working
and who are focusing on law school 100%,
and that’s an unfair competition.
One of the main points of law school is to become a lawyer,
yes, but it’s also to increase your earning power
by getting into the state run monopoly,
that is the Attorney’s Bar.
So part of the point of becoming a lawyer
is to earn more as an attorney.
So let’s say that you were somehow able to make
50,000 dollars per year while in law school.
I don’t think that’s very realistic
while actually being in law school,
but let’s say you were able to make 50,000 dollars,
but at the cost of slipping a few points in your GPA.
Well the difference between graduating
in the top 10% of your class and the middle 50% or so
could result in a difference in salary when you graduate
of 50,000 dollars less in year one.
And that difference or deficit is only going to compound
year after year after year.
The place where you start when you graduate
largely determines where you end up five, 10,
and 20 years later.
So while it might’ve made sense to earn 50,000 dollars
while in law school, that could end up costing you
millions of dollars over the course of your career.
And keep in mind that your 1L year is by far
the most important year in law school.
Your 1L grades will define where you’re able
to get a 1L summer job and those two things
will define where you’re able
to get a 2L summer associate job,
and that’s largely where people get their
employment prospects when they graduate from law school.
So if ever there was a year not to have another job
it would be your 1L year.
When you get into your 2L and 3L year
you’ll probably get your feet underneath you
and you can decide whether you wanna take on
the additional risk of another job
or perhaps some extracurricular activities.
But your first year grades will define
whether you’re able to get a clerkship
or a summer internship or whether you’re possibly
able to transfer to a better school.
So don’t short change your 1L grades above everything else.
And in fact, many schools prevent you
from doing extracurriculars during your first year,
let alone a full time job.
So the bottom line is that getting another job,
especially during your 1L year,
but probably for the rest of law school,
it’s just not worth it.
Don’t go down that road, don’t be penny wise
and pound foolish, understand law school
for the investment that it is.
You’re probably going to be taking on a large amount
of loans and it would be terrible to throw away
that investment just to get a few more dollars
during the school year which will really impact
your ability to get good grades.
So in my view having a full time job in law school
just isn’t worth it.
Focus on your grades, focus on your final exams,
and do the best that you can.
That will have the best result in succeeding
in law school and your career as an attorney.
Now if you’re preparing for law school
and want even more strategies and tactics
that will show you how to get A’s in law school
download our free Ultimate Pre-law Checklist,
it’s our free gift to you, the link to that is down below.
It will give you a head start on your peers
by the time you get to law school.
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So did you work during law school?
Did you regret it or did you think it was a great idea?
Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you,
and until next time at Legal Eagle,
think like a lawyer and ace the exam.
Hey legal eagles, bah blah blah, blah blah blah.
You will read so much more than you did in college.
Did I say that right?
So let’s say that you are somehow able to make
50,000 dollars per year in law school.