One of the best ways to earn more money is to improve your skills and education. Many people consider a good education such a good investment that they are willing to go into debt to pay for schooling.

I still have student loans from my time in school. I have a graduate degree, so that added to my overall tuition bill. However, I consider it a decent pay off; what I learned, as well as the connections I gained, have resulted in a home business that provides my family with a comfortable income.

Depending on your degree, and the job prospects that come with it, student loans can be a decent investment. But one of the issues being raised right now is whether or not certain graduate and professional degrees are worth the money.

Law School: Rising Costs, Shrinking Job Prospects

A recent post from Fortune┬átakes a look at law school, and whether or not law school is worth the money — and if law schools are being transparent with their pricing and their information.

For decades, law school has been the education of choice for many. And, even though there are lots of jokes about lawyers, the truth is that a law degree comes with a certain amount of built in respect. However, since law school is so popular, and because student loans make it possible for almost anyone to “afford” law school, there appears to be something of a glut of law graduates, and not enough jobs to go around.

Here is what Fortune points out about the current state of law school and the job market:

As tuition has climbed but legal jobs have evaporated, American law schools are being taken to task on the grounds that they have not been forthcoming about graduates’ financial burdens and employment prospects. Such misrepresentations have led students to believe that substantial loans will be offset by a steady five- or six-figure annual salary.

And this narrative rings true. Many law students feel that they will automatically be rewarded with a high-paying job that will allow them to power through the debt pay-down. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for law school grads to find jobs. According to Forbes, only about 55% of law schools grads are employed full-time as lawyers nine months after graduation.

It’s awfully hard to pay off six-figure law school debt when you are working part-time in a legal office, and then working at Starbucks the rest of the time.

This reality is something to think about as you consider what your next career move should be. It’s important to carefully consider the possibilities, as well as the job prospects. And it’s important to understand that becoming a lawyer isn’t an automatic ticket to a comfortable, high-paying job.

Can law school be a good career option? Sure. But don’t assume that it means you’re automatically set for life.

What do you think? Is law school still worth the money? Do you wish you were a lawyer?



Miranda is freelance journalist. She specializes in topics related to money, especially personal finance, small business, and investing. You can read more of my writing at Planting Money Seeds.