Recently, there has been debate about the prudence of a legal education vis-à-vis other alternative career choices. Such deliberations stem from the suggestion that there are too many law graduates chasing too few jobs.
Yet the true nature of law school as a good investment remains undiminished. I have several reasons why my legal education has been the best investment—and decision—I’ve made in my professional journey. Here are the ways in which I have seen law school as an investment with ongoing rewards.
1. Law School Fosters Creative Thinking
The law is the right ground to develop thought prowess that exhibits the finesse of thinking both within and without boxes. Within the box, the legal profession enables adhering to legal precedents, rules, and regulations. Outside the box, a person is able to use those same precedents to gather reference points and develop them into new ideas, making those ideas trend with the current times and needs of society.
Besides the information technology world, in my view there is no other profession that respects versatility like the law. The legal profession preserves the lawyer as one of the most creative professional thinkers that can make the right creative decisions for the legal need of the time. Such creative skills can translate into many other areas of life!
For instance, entrepreneurs can thrive only if they are creative thinkers. In a world that is rapidly changing, requiring the ability to stay current, to be competitive, and to remain innovative in the business world, the skills developed from the outside-the-box thinking of a legal education provide the adaptability prowess needed to change with the times. Creative thinking is also required to retain clients and keep them engaged. Even outside the business relationship, creative thinking aids families—imagine how the ability to think fast and think smart could resolve a fallout with a spouse and pacify angst. Creative thinking is also a boon to finance, providing an invaluable resource to the investor who wants to achieve a greater return than average.
And in personal health, developing motivational techniques to engage one’s self in healthy activities is an area that a lawyer should be able to master. As a trained person who already has the basic skill of client motivation and using creative arguments to support the client’s case, how creative could that lawyer be to motivate themselves toward work outs? A lawyer’s arsenal of creative thinking could lead them to consider a 5-minute stretch in the office before the next client comes in. Or a 10-minute brisk walk around the block during lunch. Instead of going for coffee, perhaps a daily 15-minute dumbbell challenge at the office gym. The possibilities are endless with a creative thinker.
2. Law School Sharpens Investigative Prowess
Is there anyone reading this article who underwent Legal Research & Writing 101 as a first-year law student? It was a pain, and yet a pleasure. As a research beginner, one spends more hours scouring through case laws in order to find that “seminal” case. I went to law school with a mind full of only numbers and data from my undergraduate accounting courses. Three years later, I left with a mind sharpened with analytical, exploratory, and fact-finding skills in both numbers and letters, a skill that has aided me beyond the practice of law to this day. For instance, in addition to legal research, the skills I gained from law school exercises have made me a more adept researcher in book writing. I engage my research abilities from law school by branching out into additional business areas, like fiction writing. As a researcher with a legal education, when I write about people and places, I research them thoroughly, right down to details like places to eat in a city or the history of the people that could impact the story. This makes the fiction-reading experience more real for my readers.
3. Law School Teaches Power Writing and Speaking
This is the best one yet. An investment in a profession like the law, which teaches the way of words, can not be underestimated, nor lose value. It has been said that the person who controls the words that are delivered to the hearing of any institution becomes the person who possesses the most power. The law is a profession of words. Use the right words, in writing or speech, and you become the most powerful person in the room.
The Law Persists
Law remains one of the most prestigious, most time-recognized, and most stable of professions—a tried-and-true establishment. The legal profession rides on the waves of an ancient foundation that abides in tests, trials, and triumphs—and it keeps on giving.