A great post for aspiring career changers:
I got an email from an accountant in his late 20s a few days ago, who is considering going to law school a couple of years from now. Being an accountant, he had tried to break the question down in straightforward financial terms, which is a big improvement over the typical nonchalance of most prospective law students. He graduated with a BA and MA in accounting from a good business school a couple of years ago, and he's about to become a CPA. He's making about 60K and anticipates that will be 70K by the time he would be ready to go to law school. His goal is to get into the very good (solidly into the top half of the first tier) public law school in his state of residence, which is currently charging resident tuition in the neighborhood of 33K a year. The school's promotional materials claim that the average salary of its 2010 grads was $104K and change, and, given that the opportunity costs he would incur by going to law school would be quite high, he of course wanted to know how realistic of an estimate this was of what he was likely to make when he graduated. Using it, he had calculated that ten years after graduation he would be a total of 175K ahead financially of where he would be if he stayed in accounting, after taking into account attendance and opportunity costs.
Is this CPA doing the financial analysis correctly? Should he be applying to law school? Read the rest of the post, Who Should Go to Law School Now?, to find out. It's great advice.
Former Dean of Admissions at the University of Chicago Law School and a recovering lawyer, Anna Ivey founded Ivey Consulting to help college, law school, and MBA applicants navigate the admissions process. You can read more admissions tips in The Ivey Guide to Law School Admissions, recently updated and available as an e-book. Join the conversation here in the blog comments and on Twitter and Facebook.