Professor Herwig Schlunk of Vanderbilt University Law School tackles the question on the forefront of so many college students’ minds in his paper, “Is a Law Degree a Good Investment Today?” (Find a summary in the TaxProf Blog.) He notes that the answer is tailored to each individual, and even goes so far as to create a calculation for three undergrads to see if their investments are worth it.
Schlunk stresses that his methodology, which is based on a plethora of factors, is more significant than his conclusions. Some important factors include undergrad major, GPA, and university; potential salary from non-legal job; law school ranking; and law school debt. However, “each potential student’s calculus will be based on a host of factors unique to him or her.”
So what’s the consensus? As Above the Law sums it up, “For most folks, however, Professor Schlunk’s bottom-line conclusion is that law school does not make sense, at least from a narrowly financial perspective.” If taking into account other possible benefits of a law degree, such as more employment potential—especially non-legal—or prestige, the conclusions may vary. Evidently, there is no clear-cut answer. Only you can decide if law school is worth it for you.
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