For many people the thought of standing in a packed courtroom arguing a case is a dream. However, the legal profession is often an uphill battle. If one has the best possible education for a top ranked school, however, achieving one’s dream is possible.
Although law schools often portray programs in this field as a great investment in the future because of the high salaries with excellent employment opportunities, this is not always the case. According to the National Association for Legal Career Professionals, in 2009 less than 80% of the 44,000 law school graduates found employment within the first year after graduation.
This may seem a dismal prospect but, in reality, there are ways to enhance the odds. Entering this field with the understanding that it is highly competitive and, in order to be in-demand, a top-ranked school should be sought, the odds of immediate employment is much greater. Although the median entry pay would be less than $50,000 per year for lower-ranked schools, with a high quality education one could enter a mega firm earning $160,000 the first year.
By seeking an education through a prestigious, highly regarded school, many options are available. The reason is that the proliferation in recent years in the number of lower-ranked schools offering degree programs has saturated the market. This makes an education with a prestigious school much more marketable.
Additionally, with the increase in tuition throughout the country, the preference for lower-ranked schools has grown along with more options such as online schools. Fortunately, however, if one has the grades, test scores, and desire there are many financial resources available that those in lower income brackets qualify for and may not even have to replay. FASFA is a governmentally run program that ensures monies are available for those who wish to continue their education. And for those who set their minds on college while in high school, many scholarships are available.
When one considers there are over 900,000 lawyers in the United States, it’s easier to understand why finding a job immediately may be difficult. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010, fewer than 60% of graduates will find jobs as a new lawyer immediately out of school.
Employability often depends on ethnicity, location, gender, age, and especially one’s ranking while in school. Additionally, for those willing to work as paralegals and in other aspects of the legal profession initially, jobs can be found and will provide the experience needed to move up to the position ultimately desired.