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Top Five Reasons to Stick with Your Law Degree

The Number 5

Feeling bored? Apathetic? Is the best part about your law degree skipping class to lunch with friends?

It was exciting back when you started this crazy little thing called law, but at the moment you like law school about as much as Voldemort liked Harry Potter. No wonder you’re pretty keen to bail. But should you?

Here are some reasons to tough it out...

1. It’s helpful, and you don’t even have to be a lawyer When you enrolled in law you were thrilled at the prospect of becoming a legal legend – like Denny Crane, or the slightly nefarious Cleaver Greene. But now you would rather become just about anything other than a lawyer… and that’s cool too.

About half of all Australian law grads do not end up practicing. Instead they become writers, entrepreneurs, yoga instructors, artists, wine makers – anything they want, really. A basic grounding in legal principles is attractive to many employers, and the versatility of a law degree, particularly in the analytical skills you learn, has helped countless law grads talk their way into non-law jobs.

2. The Back Up Plan Even if you’re keen to try something else, consider finishing your law degree so you have some skills you can fall back on if your plans don’t work out or if you change your mind about lawyering. You don’t necessarily need a relevant degree to work in journalism or business, but you do to become a lawyer.

3. Electives So you’re about two years into the mind-numbing pain of your law degree, and you’re very, very bored. That’s okay. The Priestly 11 can do that. Hold out for law electives – they’ll remind you that law can be interesting. For me media law was a total saviour.

4. It will start to make sense If you class yourself as a ‘very average’ law student, you’re not alone. It takes time for the knack of thinking in that analytical, lawyerly way to kick in. It happens gradually, but most things (with the possible exception of equity) make sense in time.

5. You might not actually hate it If you’re constantly tired and stressed, it’s little wonder you’re feeling anti-degree. But the grind of corporate law class is generally only partly to blame. Work out what else could be behind your awesome stress levels and shake things up a little.

If you and your degree become estranged, there are other things you can try. Plenty of law students take a semester off or reduce their study load, making time to explore other interests and, maybe, rekindling that spark.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: This story was first published on Survive Law on 4 April 2012.

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