Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

A high school student e-mailed me today and asked whether she should go to law school. I liked my reply, although it's really nothing revolutionary, so I thought I'd share it, in part to make up for my lack of a post yesterday. Edited slightly, mostly to hide the revelation that I wrote the response during class on wireless Internet. Which I guess I'm no longer hiding. I need to turn that switch off, I really do. Wireless Internet is terrible.

It's way too soon for you to be thinking about law school. Law school is different from medical school -- it doesn't have any requirements. You can be an English major, an engineer, a politics major, or a Romance Language and Literature major, and still go to law school. There are no course requirements. So you don't need to know now, and you don't even really need to know until 9 months before you want to start law school, whether that's right after college, or ten years from now.

If you are passionate about the law, and it sounds like you either are or are trying to convince yourself you are, law school can be an awful lot of fun. It's almost all theory at a place like here; we don't learn where people sign on a real estate contract or how to structure a deal when company A is buying company B. I'm taking a class this semester called Creation of the Constitution. As far as I can tell, there is no practical element of this class at all. We're learning today about state constitutions before the U.S. Constitution in 1776-1787. It's cool. If this kind of stuff excites you, law school is great.

That said, it's three years and a lot of money and if there's jobs in the real world you'd rather be doing, I'm not sure the intellectual passion is enough to make this worth it. Maybe it is. For some people it is, for some people it's not. The great thing is that you don't have to decide now, and you have 4 years of college to explore all sorts of passions and figure out what it is you love to do, love to think about, love to learn. Enjoy it. Don't worry about law school yet. You'll figure it out.