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Range of Spread/Dispersion

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So You Want To Be a Lawyer?
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Credit: Adam Grabek
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/51780704@N05/6424461231
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

What sort of career would you like to have when you're older? Many students say that they'd like to become lawyers. They may not know exactly what a lawyer does, but they know that lawyers make a lot of money. But are all lawyers "wealthy"?

Salary Ranges and Big Earners

We tend to notice the celebrity lawyers. These star lawyers are famous for taking on big cases and charging sky-high fees. They live in mansions, drive fancy cars, and schmooze with high-profile clients. But lawyers are a lot like professional athletes. Some lawyers do receive huge salaries, but many others earn much less. The starting salary range for lawyers runs from about $50,000 to $100,000 per year—but that only applies to law school graduates who manage to get jobs in the legal field. Since the economic crash of 2008, fewer law school graduates are finding employment as lawyers within a year of graduation. According to the National Association for Law Placement, only 64.4% of new law school graduates were practicing law in 2012, compared to 75.3% in 2002.

Meanwhile, student debt from law school has been on the rise. A lawyer must complete 4 years of undergraduate education and 3 years of law school. Right now, the average law school student graduates with about $100,000 in debt. This debt might not end up being a big deal for lawyers who make it to the high end of the salary range, but it can be an enormous burden for new graduates at the bottom end of the range.

Credit: David Williss
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dwilliss/7762329862/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

So, do you want to be a lawyer? Look beyond salary range and find out what they actually do. There are so many different types of law and legal specialties, including criminal law, environmental law, and family law. See if you can get a summer internship helping in a local law office. Invite a lawyer to your school for a career day event. There are many great reasons to consider a law degree, but you need to look beyond salary.

See for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9m1J1VQwGv0

Explore More

Learn more about becoming a lawyer with the following links.

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Legal/Lawyers.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RD-o7S51dY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2c2bF33gOk

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Adam Grabek; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/51780704@N05/6424461231; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: David Williss; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dwilliss/7762329862/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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