Lately there have been a lot of articles written by Law Students. They’re complaining about the debt they’ve incurred to get their degrees. They’re complaining that there are not enough Articling positions and they may have to pay the LPP fee in order to be licensed. They’re complaining they have to write the Bar Admission test. They’re complaining there are no jobs when they finally are called to the Bar.
While I understand no one likes any of the above list of grievances, I’m going to point out what should be glaringly obvious: none of the above issues were things you could not have researched before deciding to obtain a Law Degree and practice in the Province of Ontario.
I love working with students, High School, Law School, Articling and LPP. I love encouraging people to pursue a career in Law, however, I’m also blunt and honest with all of them. I tell them, there are few jobs out there and many of them do not pay a lot. You may incur a tonne of debt, so you had better not be doing this for the money.
So. If you want to be a lawyer, great. Do your research. If you go to U of T, Osgoode or any other top tier school, it will cost you $ 75 000.00 at least to get your law degree (this is not including undergrad).
Many entry level positions for first year associates who are not at a big firm in Toronto pay $ 50 000.00 or less.
If you’re planning to go to Law School, you’re smart: do the math. How many years are you going to be in debt? Are you able to handle that? If yes, then go ahead. If no. There are many other careers in Law that do not involve being a lawyer. They will not cost as much to obtain your degree. Perhaps pursue those.
However, if you do decide to go to Law School, then please, stop complaining about the cost. If you didn’t do your research going into this, you can only blame yourself.
Inga B. Andriessen JD