Deciding on Law School
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Deciding on Law School

The guide to analyzing whether law school is right for you.
5.0 (1 rating)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
257 students enrolled
Created by Adam Pascarella
Last updated 2/2017
Current price: $10 Original price: $95 Discount: 89% off
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  • 4 hours on-demand video
  • 6 Articles
  • 6 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Describe the most common reasons to attend law school.
  • Think about how they will be able to afford law school.
  • Understand current market conditions within the legal profession.
  • Determine whether they are an attractive law school candidate.
  • Understand the law school application process.
  • Focus on the important factors when choosing a law school.
  • Make a well-educated, thoughtful decision on whether law school is right for them.
View Curriculum
  • No prior knowledge is needed about law school, the law school application process, or life as a practicing lawyer.

In 2015, over 37,000 individuals decided to enroll in law school.  Should you join them?  Before you drop six figures and come face-to-face with the Socratic Method, your new classmates, and countless nights in the library, join me as we analyze whether law school is right for you.  We will take a deep dive into the decision by contemplating the various benefits and costs in obtaining a J.D.  This course includes lectures on the following topics:

  • Module 1: Thoughts, Justifications, and Rationales
  • Module 2: Career Options and Current Market Conditions
  • Module 3: Costs and Debt
  • Module 4: Researching Law Schools
  • Module 5: Are You an Attractive Candidate?
  • Module 6: Concluding Thoughts and Next Steps

You will spend a little over four hours completing this course.  Extra materials include my collection of the best resources that you can consult when thinking about this decision.

It can be stressful and confusing when you are thinking about attending law school.  As a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a current associate at a corporate law firm, I have traveled down this road and understand the complexities in making this decision.  Therefore, I invite you to take this course and discover the different factors you should consider in deciding whether law school is for you.  Looking forward to seeing you at the first lecture!

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is designed for any and all people who have thought or are thinking about attending law school.
Compare to Other Law Courses
Curriculum For This Course
52 Lectures
Thoughts, Justifications, and Rationales
9 Lectures 36:29

This lecture introduces the course and provides a broad outline of what we will cover.

Preview 02:20

This lecture discusses my path to law school, my experience both during and after law school, and the current state of law schools.

Preview 05:23

This lecture provides an initial look at the idea of law school and common reasons for attending law school.

Preview 03:28

We discuss three common reasons that prospective students attend law school: influences from popular culture, following childhood dreams, and influence from family and friends.

Preview 07:16

We discuss prospective law students who attend law school to help society better and those who attend to get rich.

Helping People and Getting Rich

In this lecture, we talk about prospective law students who enroll in law school because of their apparent lack of options and because they think law school will provide career flexibility down the road.

Lack of Options and Career Flexibility

This lecture addresses prospective law students opting to attend due to the intellectual challenge of law school.  We also discuss those who attend law school after they've obtained prior work experience in the legal field.

Intellectual Challenge and Prior Work Experience

We discuss prospective law students who will receive outside funding to attend law school, and we wrap up the module with some key takeaways.

Financial Assistance and Key Takeaways

Course notes for module one.

Course Notes
Career Options and Current Market Conditions
11 Lectures 01:03:45

This lecture introduces module two and speaks about common jobs for law school graduates.

Introduction and Common Jobs Out of Law School

This lecture introduces Big Law and speaks about compensation for Big Law associates.

Big Law: Introduction and Compensation

We discuss some of the realities of Big Law and how law students can begin a career in Big Law.

Big Law: Realities and How To Get Hired

This lecture discusses positions at mid and small size firms after graduation.

Mid Law and Small Firms

We discuss the opportunity to start your own firm after graduating law school.

Starting Your Own Firm (Hanging Your Own Shingle)

We next discuss jobs in business and government after graduation.

Jobs in Business and Government

In this lecture, we talk about judicial clerkships after law school and pursuing public interest positions.

Judicial Clerkships and Public Interest Positions

This lecture discusses careers in academia after graduation.


We next discuss temp positions and positions funded by law schools themselves.

Temp Attorneys and School Funded Positions

This lecture presents some final thoughts on career choices and current market conditions.

Final Insights

Course notes for module two.

Course Notes
Costs and Debt
11 Lectures 58:09

This lecture introduces module three and speaks about past and present tuition rates.

Introduction and Past and Present Tuition

We begin our discussion of law school costs by speaking about tuition, room and board, and books.

Costs: Tuition, Room and Board, and Books

We continue our discussion of costs by speaking about personal expenses, post-grad costs, and opportunity costs.

Costs: Personal Expenses, Post-Grad Costs, and Opportunity Costs

We transition to a discussion of how you'll pay for law school.  We first speak about family assistance and scholarship opportunities.

Paying for Law School: Family Assistance and Scholarships/Grants

In this lecture, we discuss different types of loans you could pursue in order to afford law school.

Introduction to Loans, Stafford Loans, and Direct PLUS Loans

We next discuss additional ways to afford law school, which include private loans and federal work study.

Private Loans, Federal Work Study, and Summary

In this lecture, we discuss how you actually pay for law school and new costs that you'll take on after graduation.

Actual Payment and New Costs

We next speak about ways to handle your law school debt and the risks of attending a lower ranked law school that charges Harvard-style tuition.

Handling Your Debt and Danger Signs

This lecture discusses ways to pay back your loans, including loan consolidation and refinancing.

Loan Repayment, Consolidation, and Refinancing

This lecture discusses alternative payment options for public interest attorneys and government attorneys, and presents some concluding thoughts to the module.

Options for Public Interest and Government Attorneys, and Key Takeaways

Course notes for module three.

Course Notes
Researching Law Schools
9 Lectures 42:25

This lecture introduces the module and speaks about the difference between accredited and non-accredited law schools.

Introduction and Accredited vs. Non-Accredited Schools

In this lecture, we discuss factors you should consider when vetting law schools.  We also speak about law school rankings.

Factors to Consider and Law School Rankings

In this lecture, we speak about the role of prestige when selecting a law school.


This lecture discusses the importance of employment outcomes when selecting among law schools.

Employment Outcomes

We speak about law schools' admissions standards and costs when you are creating your shortlist of potential schools.

Admissions Standards and Costs

This lecture discusses schools' bar passage rate and the importance of location.

Bar Passage Rate and Location

In this lecture, we talk about schools' curricula, joint-degree programs, and part time programs.

Curricula, Joint-Degree Programs, and Part Time Programs

This lecture presents some key takeways on creating your shortlist of potential law schools.

Key Takeaways

Course notes for module four.

Course Notes
Are You an Attractive Candidate?
7 Lectures 29:40

This lecture introduces the law school application process.

Introduction and Law School Applications

This lecture provides some basic information and strategies about the LSAT.


In this lecture, we speak about the importance of your undergraduate GPA in law school admissions.  We also discuss splitters and reverse splitters.

Undergraduate GPA, Splitters, and Reverse Splitters

We discuss the personal statement and letters of recommendation when submitting your law school applications.

Personal Statement and Letters of Recommendation

In this lecture, we talk about the importance of academic and professional experience, demographics, and timing when applying to schools.

Experience, You, and Timing

This lecture presents some key takeaways from this module.

Key Takeaways

Course notes for module five.

Course Notes
Next Steps and Conclusions
5 Lectures 18:36

This lecture introduces the final module, speaking about the pros and cons of the legal profession and opportunity costs.

Introduction, Pros and Cons, and Opportunity Costs

We speak about several overarching aspects of the law school decision, including your financial future, career goals, and overall happiness.

Financial Aspect, Career Goals, and Happiness

In this lecture, we discuss the role of inertia in the law school decision.


We conclude the course by speaking about next steps when making your decision.

Next Steps and Conclusions

Course notes for module six.

Course Notes
About the Instructor
Adam Pascarella
5.0 Average rating
1 Review
257 Students
1 Course
University of Pensylvania Law School Grad and Attorney

Originally from the south suburbs of Chicago, I attended the University of Michigan and majored in political science.  After graduation, I worked in the media industry for nine months before matriculating at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  I graduated in 2014 and became a full-time litigation associate at Baker & McKenzie in New York City.  In my spare time, I like to play tennis, watch Michigan football, and explore New York City.