If you’re considering applying to law school, you’ll want to check out this video on who should go to law school. The reality is that a variety of backgrounds, work experience and college majors can all help to make a good fit for going to law school. Our guest today is Harold Krent, the Dean of the IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law where I went to law school. Hal shares an honest perspective with us on who should go to law school and addresses the question of what you do in law school.
Scroll down to watch a sneak peek of this video. You can join JD Careers Out There for access to the full-length video plus more day-in-the-life career path interview videos & transcripts.
If you’re applying to law school, we can tell you that in law school you learn how to think, read and write like a lawyer. Figuring out what to do with a law degree and learning practical, day-to-day career skills like interviewing, networking and workplace communications, are all really up to you. That’s what we’re helping you with here at JD Careers Out There. If you’re serious about applying to law school, you’ll find our video library to be really helpful as we explore the wide variety of careers for lawyers – from the different types of law practice to the many alternative careers for lawyers where law school skills make a good fit and help you excel. We’ll also get you career advice from lawyers and non-practicing lawyers on the day-to-day practical skills you’ll need to succeed.
As you research law school, you’ll find many eloquently written articles debating the case for going to law school versus the case against going to law school. Due to the high costs of tuition and the small number of high-paying jobs for new lawyers, many writers argue that law school is a weak investment. We’ve seen great arguments on all sides of this debate. Here at JDCOT, we’re not going to tell you whether you should go to law school. That decision is up to you after setting your goals, doing your research and analyzing the finances.
We do feel that law school needs to change – if we didn’t, we wouldn’t feel the need to start this site. Not all of us liked law school (particularly me) but everyone I’ve interviewed (including me and our guests without law jobs) has expressed thanks for having gone to law school. Critics would say we’d be less thankful if we graduated in today’s climate of higher tuition and less jobs. But these days, regardless of your degree, the economy, or the cost of your tuition, you’ve got to go out there and fight for a career that fits you. We’re here to help you with that. In today’s full video interview below with Hal, he addresses who should go to law school, what do you do in law school, and he also talks about the bar exam, the finances of law school and what to do with a law degree.
WATCH A SNEAK PEEK
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Luber: Hey everyone, today on JD Careers Out There we’re looking look at law school: who should go to law school, how to get in, what happens once you’re there and then what you can do with your law degree after you graduate.
You’ve probably learned that law school’s really expensive – and just because you’ve got a law degree, that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a law job – especially a high-paying law job.
But there’s so many things you can do with a law degree – so many great ways to use the skills from law school. So if you can handle the financial end and you’re ready to network and fight your way into a law degree career that fits you, you’ll want to keep watching.
Now, we’re not gonna take sides and tell you whether to GO to law school, but we ARE gonna look at the pluses and minuses of law school today – and we’ve got a great guest to walk us through it: Hal Krent – he’s the Dean of the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, which is where I went to law school.
He’s gonna share with you a dean’s honest perspective on law school so that you decide whether law school is the right fit for you. And I can tell you that he does not sugarcoat things.
Before we get started, I want to welcome you to JD Careers Out There. This is our first video interview for the site! We actually filmed this interview before the site was born, so the questions were geared towards the broader audience of our other career site, Careers Out There, where we cover all kinds of careers from journalism to marketing to engineering.Let me tell you real quick what THIS site’s all about.
Our mission here is to help you have a happy and successful career with your law degree – whether you choose to practice law or not.
In law school, you learn how to think, read and write like a lawyer – but the practical career stuff like choosing the right career path and learning those practical, day-to-day career skills for success, that’s still really up to you. And that’s what WE’RE here to help you with.
Most of our content falls into 2 categories: The 1st is Career Path Interview videos. What we do there is explore all of the different careers you can get with a law degree – whether in one of the many legal practice areas or you’re doing something totally different with your law degree by not practicing law but applying your skills to being a sports agent, a lobbyist, or working in the real estate, banking or insurance industries.
And we talk to real professionals – successful JDs who are out there in the world working – and they’re gonna share with us what their paths are really like, who makes the right fit for these paths, how to break in and how to succeed.
And then our other content is Mentoring & Coaching videos on practical skills – like interviewing, networking, how to talk to your boss at work, handle a new assignment at work, and how to make partner in a law firm.
I’m your host, Marc Luber, and I’m a JD who’s enjoyed careers in the music industry and attorney recruiting – without practicing law. It’s really important to me – and to our guests – to help you find a career that fits you and to help you thrive. THAT’s what we do at JD Careers Out There.
Today you’ll hear all about law school from a great guy, Dean Hal Krent, so it’s gonna be a great show – so stick around!
OK, we’re back. Dean Krent, welcome to Careers Out There.
Dean Hal Krent: Thank you.
Luber: Thanks for being here. So – can you give us an overview of law school and tell us about the law school experience?
Dean Krent: Law school in the United States is a post graduate experience, which means one has an undergraduate degree before applying to law school.
That’s different than in China or in Europe where law is a discipline that you can pursue as an undergraduate. So law school is a mixture of a professional endeavor, an effort to try to gain the skills to become a lawyer, as well as understanding academic discipline, which is the theoretical structure for law.
So a law student, full time for 3 years, part time for 4 ½ -5 years, will try to learn both how to think in the discipline – to think like a lawyer – but at the same time to accumulate the skills and the experiences so that one can function as a professional on graduation.
Luber: So what are some of the different career paths that people can pursue after graduating from law school?
Krent: One of the things that I like about the law is the great multitude of different kinds of ways you can earn a living.
You can work for a corporation, you can work for a law firm, you can work with children, work on environmental issues, you can work with intellectual property, work for state governments.
But in all these things there are some commonalities – because we as lawyers try to solve people’s problems – we try to help them – and there’s a lot of satisfaction both intellectually and just internally through trying to make things tick – to make sure that someone who’s a neighbor can try to take care of a real estate problem, but also to make sure a multinational corporation knows how to acquire a smaller company.
And that is ultimately what we can do – we give power to others – we empower others to benefit themselves.
Luber: Interesting stuff. You’ll all hear Dean Krent tell us more about law school and who should go to law school in the full interview – lots more to talk about.
You’ll want to join the JDCOT membership for access to the full, in-depth career interviews & transcripts that will help you discover rewarding careers for law grads and build your professional development skills. Check out what people have to say about JDCOT by clicking here.
Thanks again for watching everybody. I’m Marc Luber and I’ll see ya soon.
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