The thought of going to law school excites students passionate about becoming a lawyer and protecting clients from all levels of society. But the cost of law school particularly in the U.S. can sometimes discourage students and parents.
Apart from the tuition, one needs to consider other costs into the equation such as health insurance, books, other supplies, transportation, business attire and networking costs. If you’re targeting a school in the city, you will also need to take into account the high cost of living there.
New York City, for instance, is home to several prestigious law schools. According to the U.S. News & World Report’s law school ranking, a year’s tuition in the city ranges from more than $51,000 up to more than $58,000 but the total cost could reach up to more than $77,000 to include health insurance, books, computer use and other miscellaneous fees.
For those in the California area, Stanford University and University of Southern California in Los Angeles are the top law schools worth choosing. These two reputable schools have produced highly regarded lawyers in recent years as confirmed by a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer.
Compared to two decades ago, the cost of law school has skyrocketed. And this is attributed to the various transformation of the practice of law not only in the U.S. but in the rest of the world.
There are a number of factors that need to be considered. Firstly, the concept of globalization has led law schools to incorporate an international component in their programs. In the case of Columbia Law School, for instance, three quarters of its law school faculty include international and comparative law in their teaching and research.
The demand for new teaching methods is another important factor. While the traditional Socratic methods are still applicable, students of today are presented with more challenges and thus, need to be taught more skills that will arm them with the right skills after they graduate. Skills that are very useful to lawyers in the present times are those pertaining to negotiating an agreement, developing strategies and consulting with clients.
The third major factor is the use of technology today. With computers a requirement in law school, the study of law has become a little more expensive. But again, it’s worth investing in technology because even when one enters the law profession, computers including laptops will prove to be very useful. In fact, attorneys are encouraged to use modern technology in their work as it helps them continue their work even when out of their office.
Technology plays a significant role in the law practice nowadays. A 2014 survey by MyCase.com, for instance, showed that 73 percent of legal professionals planned to invest more in technology this 2015 while 33 percent said they were likely to increase their use of mobile technology this year. Of the respondents, 51 percent said they planned to digitize documents and utilize a law practice management software. In addition, 60 percent said the pen and paper appointment calendar would most likely be abandoned this year.
Going to law school requires a major investment and one that provides a great rate of return. So if you have the funds and are serious about pursuing a career in the legal industry, it is worth investing in.