Is Becoming a Lawyer Really Worth the Financial Cost?
Anyone serious about becoming a lawyer first must consider the financial costs associated with obtaining a law degree. It usually takes 7-8 years after high school in order to be fully prepared to take the bar exam.
The costs vary depending on which University you attend, weather private or public. If you attend a public university one can expect to pay an average of $100,000 to $150,000, which includes tuition, housing, food, books and other fees. Attending a private school the costs could go has high as $200,000 – $250,000.
According to Berkley University Career Center the average tuition in the United States is $76,000 plus, an undergraduate degree of $136, 707 amounts to a whopping $212,707. This figure starts after graduating high school and working your way through all required classes/courses to pass the bar exam.
It is estimate that the average law student will not be able to pay off his or hers school debt for 30-40 years, this is based on only paying 10% of your total salary every year.
What Is the Estimated Salary of a Lawyer?
Not that we have gotten the bad news out of the way let’s take a closer look to salary expectations for attorneys. The Bureaus of Labor Statistics estimates that attorneys earn an average of $131,000, or $63 per hour for 2013.
If you were at the top of your class while going to law school and landed a high paying job with a large law firm you could expect to earn from $135,000 to $188,000, annually. This figure is based on working for 4 years with the same law firm.
As with Any Profession There Are Many Different Fields of Law One Can Specialize In
Choosing the right field of law is critical to your success and well-being, the answer may not come right away. In all honesty it may take a number of years working as a lawyer to discover your passion or gifting in a certain field of law. Here are a number of fields attorneys can practice in:
- Civil Rights
- Corporate & Securities Law
- Criminal Law
- Education Law
- Environmental & Natural Resources Law
- Health Law
- Immigration Law
- Real Estate Law
- Sports & Entertainment Law
- Tax Law
Yes, it is expensive and time consuming to become a lawyer but in my opinion the financial costs don’t compare to what you could achieve in earning power. Most lawyers I know do very well and while it may take 10- 15 years to achieve your financial goals in the end you’ll be in a far better place with an education that can take you anywhere you want to go with the added bonus of helping people along the way.
Author Randall Eaton