There are many reasons why people quit law school – it’s a difficult and taxing time for any students, and thousands quit at the start of their first year. Let’s look at the top 10 reasons why students drop out of law school.
1. Cost – The primary reason that people leave law school is because of the cost. It is very expensive to go to law school. Law school students will amass over $100,000 of student loan debts that they will be paying back for quite some time. While it’s true that lawyers do make a lot of money, they don’t start out that way and these debts can be a little overwhelming.
2. Job competition – Finding a job after law school is very difficult and there is a lot of competition for the best jobs. Jobs at top law firms throughout the country are highly competitive for students just out of school. This is something that even first year law school students learn quickly. Coupled with the massive debt, students are all the more deflated when they find out they will likely be making under $40,000 for the first five years after they are out of school – put this up against more than $100,000 in student loans and you find many students dropping law school for cheaper schooling careers.
3. Hours – Law school takes a lot of time – not only do you have to attend classes, you have to spend hours upon hours cramming the information into your head for the examinations and, eventually, the bar. Many law school students still want to have a social life and find that they don’t have any because of the studying and homework they have to do. As a result, this cycle doesn’t end out of law school – the hours in a law firm are long and arduous too.
4. The Bar Exam – The bar is a brutal exam – two to three days of testing of questions that are hard to answer because it seems a real answer doesn’t exist. The preparation for the bar exam is intense – months of studying and cramming. Over 40 per cent of law students fail the bar on the first try which means doing it all over again in six months. Over 33 per cent of law students fail the bar on the second try.
5. Lack of Applicable Knowledge – Law school focuses on how to make you think like a lawyer, which doesn’t really translate well to the work you will be doing. Many students figure this out in the first term of law school and find out that this isn’t what they want to be doing.
6. The Need for Money – Most law school students need to have a part time job to help pay for school, and work full time during the summer. Breaks aren’t spent having fun partying with friends, rather they are spent working to improve a resume and the time off from work is spent studying and reviewing material.
7. Brutal Competition – Most law school students figure out before they even get to law school that college will be a time of buckling down to get the work done. All students know that it’s imperative to be near the top of the class – those are the students that land the high paying jobs. However, not all students can be at the top of the class so the competition in class is brutal, resulting in a lack of social scene; not to mention the long hours of working and studying that are also cramping their social life style.
8. Difficult Teaching Styles – Many law students can’t take the heat from their professors, who are arrogant and pretentious while they are trying to drill a bunch of information into their heads.
9. Final Examinations – The final exams for any semester are almost as grueling as the bar exam itself.
10. Dealing with Others – many people will ask a law student about law, trying to get lawyer information for free on an issue they are having. Law students can do nothing to stop this endless harassment – it is something they will cope with from friends and family forever. Many can’t take the constant barrage of questions and queries and thusly drop out of law school before it becomes a life long nightmare.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for reasons why law school students leave law school. If you are a law school student, you need to seriously weigh your options – school loan officers don’t care if you drop out – you’ll still have to pay those back. Is dropping out worth it?