Should I Go to Law School?
If you are stuck, there are a number of books that you can start
with. These books will give you a feeling for whether the profession
is right for you. Nothing beats talking to people and obtaining
experience on your own, but reading these books can't hurt.
This list and the information that follows was compiled by Ava
Preacher, Assistant Dean and Principal Pre-Law Advisor, University
of Notre Dame. I have edited it.
- Aaron, Deborah, Running From the Law: Why Good Lawyers
Are Getting Out of the Legal Profession (Seattle: Niche
Aaron, Deborah, What Can You Do with a Law Degree?
(Seattle: Niche Press, 1997).
Bachman,Walt, Law vs. Life (Rhineback, NY: Four
Directions Press, 1995)
Bell, Susan J., ed., Full Disclosure: Do You Really Want to
Be a Lawyer? (Princeton, NJ: Peterson's Guides, American
Bar Association, 1992)
Law Services, So You Want to Be a Lawyer: A Practical Guide
to Law as a Career (New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1994).
Law Services, Thinking About Law School: A Minority Guide
(Newtown, PA: Law Services, 1997)
Moll, Richard W., The Lure of the Law (New York:
Simenoff, Mark, ed., My First Year as a Lawyer (New
York: Signet, 1996).
Turow, Scott, One L (New York: Warner Books, 1977).
Some Things to Ponder
As indicated above, Deborah Aaron has written two books about
burnout in the legal profession and alternatives to law practice.
She has developed a list of traits that satisfied lawyers have in
common. You might wish to see how many of these traits you possess.
1. Display a love of learning
2. Pay attention to details
3. Respect the rules
4. Possess strong analytical abilities
5. Are achievement oriented
6. Are competitive
7. Are steady and stable
8. Are patient and persistent
9. Are more realistic than idealistic
10. Are more conventional than innovative
11. Are more dispassionate than emotional
12. Are thick-skinned
She also offers a personality preference quiz that will help you
begin to determine if law practice is the career for you. Ask
1. Do I like to get emotionally involved with
2. Do I dislike or attempt to avoid conflict?
3. In resolving conflict, do I prefer to decide what's fair based on
the circumstances of each situation?
4. Do I like to create or start projects and let others finish or
5. Do I dislike paying attention to details?
6. Do I prefer short-term projects?
7. Do I value efficiency?
8. Do I like to do things my own way, on my own schedule, and
according to my own priorities?
9. Do I get more satisfaction being part of a team than being a solo
10. Do I want to change the world?
If you answered, "yes" to any of these questions, you should
reflect on whether you would be happy in the practice of law. If you
answered "yes" to several, you might want to engage in some serious
self-assessment (consider taking a more comprehensive personality
test, for example) to determine which career areas are best suited
to your personality.
The SVSU Career Planning & Placement Office has a number of
materials to help you determine the types of careers best suited for
you. Among other things, it offers testing to match personality
types with careers. If you are really unsure about your career
future, you might wish to take a personality career aptitude test
before making any major career decisions.