The Surprising Benefits of Having a Law Degree Even If You Don’t Want to Be an Attorney
Many law school graduates don’t become lawyers due to economic pressures, fierce competition for limited legal positions and disenchantment with practice. All of these factors play a part in this unfortunate reality.
Not everyone needs or wishes to become lawyers; those who find themselves disinclined can still utilize their legal studies degrees in other ways. Here are five unexpected advantages of possessing one even if one doesn’t plan on becoming one themselves.
Developing Critical Thinking and Analytical Skills
Law students must read large amounts of text, understand complex ideas, and analyze material with precision – an invaluable skill that will serve them throughout their careers. Law school also serves as an ideal opportunity to enhance critical thinking abilities by learning how to assess and judge arguments from others.
As a law student, you will frequently receive feedback on assignments asking you to “explain your reasoning” or add more analysis and evaluation. This type of critical thinking will serve you well throughout your legal career and beyond.
However, while law degrees offer great potential to develop these skills, pursuing one may prove challenging for those from less privileged backgrounds. According to Arum and Roksa’s study on Critical Thinking Assessment (CTA), disadvantaged students scored significantly lower on it compared to their white, college-educated counterparts due to Dunning-Kruger Effect: when those without critical-thinking skills fail to recognize their limitations and make efforts necessary to overcome them.
One way to strengthen your analytical abilities is through debates or discussions with fellow students. Another strategy for developing these capabilities is joining student clubs such as sports teams or drama groups that allow teamwork and improve your communication abilities. You could even consider part-time customer service work to develop interpersonal abilities while building up experience.
Improving Communication and Writing Abilities
Reading and understanding legal documents as well as writing clearly is an indispensable skill that can be applied in various industries. Unfortunately, however, the law’s language can often be daunting and difficult for those outside the legal field. To gain a greater insight into its topic area, one must possess an inquisitive mind while learning a whole new vocabulary.
Law school can be challenging and lead to mental exhaustion for some students, which may impede productivity when dealing with pressing issues. Furthermore, pressures from career paths to pursue can negatively impact quality of work produced.
An investment of both time and money, earning a degree in law requires careful thought about which career paths you wish to explore before making the commitment. A law degree opens up numerous legal and non-legal career options that offer great returns; whether practicing law as a lawyer, working for corporate/government agencies or advice centres or even opening your own advice centre are just some options to explore with this degree. Our team of advisors can help guide your search for an undergraduate degree and law school tailored specifically to meet your career goals.
Building a Strong Ethical and Moral Framework
No matter whether or not you decide to become an attorney, the legal world presents numerous ethical and moral dilemmas. Furthermore, studying law exposes you to various ethical concerns as it helps you gain an insight into how other people might think and act under different situations – providing a useful basis for evaluating decisions and behaviors made within yourself or within society as a whole.
Integrity and moral principles can guide our decisions and have a positive effect on the world, while also creating more satisfying and successful careers. Strong ethical leaders are known to foster stronger relationships among their employees, customers and stakeholders as well as being more resilient when facing obstacles or challenges.
Law degrees can be an ideal path for people who wish to use their talents and expertise for positive change in the world, yet must also consider costs and benefits of going back to school before making their final decisions.
There are various paths to earning a law degree, each program with its own set of specific curriculum and requirements. One such graduate degree option is the Juris Doctorate (JD). This degree typically caters to those looking to become attorneys; studies often include constitutional law, civil rights law, property law research writing as well as related topics.
Gaining a Comprehensive Understanding of the Legal System
No matter if you are an English major with an interest in law or an aspiring business student, studying Law provides a diverse overview of subjects and fields. Studying it teaches how to analyze information, gather reliable data and draw solid conclusions – skills invaluable for any career.
Law degrees typically cover topics like legal research, constitutional and property law, contracts, legal writing and other core skills. They also encompass subject-matter areas like employment law, civil rights law and criminal law which will equip students for future jobs across multiple industries or sectors.
Studying law will equip you to present information clearly and convincingly no matter the audience you’re addressing. This can be especially useful for managers in senior positions who must interact with people from varying backgrounds and situations.
There are numerous advantages of earning a law degree, but it’s essential that you create an actionable plan for how you intend to utilize your knowledge and abilities. Prior to committing yourself to this path, be sure to do additional research; perhaps consult someone who has studied law before, or even enrolling in sample classes so you can ensure it fits with your goals and lifestyle. Ideally, aim to invest three years and tens of thousands in something worthwhile and purposeful for your personal needs and aspirations.
Enhancing Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Skills
One of the greatest advantages of pursuing a law degree is developing an in-depth knowledge of conflict resolution and problem solving. While this skill set will certainly come in handy during legal career pursuit, it can also benefit many other aspects of professional and personal life.
As such, many law schools provide programs specifically tailored to teach students negotiation and conflict resolution skills. These can include classes focused on facilitating meetings, mediation and arbitration services as well as conflict coaching and management services.
Skills such as these can be put to use in fields spanning human resources and labor relations to business management and education, not to mention non-profit and community organizations that aim to address social problems while creating peace and prosperity for individuals worldwide.
In fact, during the 1950s and 1960s in the United States, much work was conducted on conflict resolution theory and research to avoid nuclear war (Kriesberg 2009).
If you have an interest in certain areas of law but do not wish to become lawyers themselves, earning a master’s degree in conflict resolution may be the ideal path forward. Many top universities such as George Mason, Nova Southeastern University and Creighton offer courses and programs dedicated to this study area – many even online so you can work towards this qualification without taking on full-time law degree programs.
Developing Strong Research and Information-Gathering Abilities
If you want to tackle complex conflicts and problems that appear unsolvable, studying law will equip you with strong research and information-gathering abilities that will equip you to tackle issues related to business, economics, politics, human rights and international relations, among other fields.
Your focus may already be clear, but your study of law will likely encompass broad topics like civil and criminal procedure, legal writing, constitutional law and property law – plus you’ll likely take courses that cater specifically to your interests, such as contracts or dispute resolution.
One key part of law school is developing your professional network. Doing this can assist with job searches and opening doors to new opportunities. Take time while in school to network with alumni and others within your field – taking this extra step can pay dividends later when entering the workforce, giving you more connections and potential employers to rely on for support and advice.
Pursuing a law degree can be an excellent way to make an impactful contribution to society, but it may not be suitable for everyone. Before making your decision about this path, take the time to carefully weigh all its advantages and disadvantages before deciding if spending three years achieving one of the most coveted credentials on the job market is worthwhile for you.