With fewer job prospects available after graduation—and mountains of student debt accumulated in the pursuit of their degrees—some would-be attorneys may wonder if law school is worth it.
Recent reports have been discouraging. According to a study by Ohio State law professor Deborah Jones Merritt, 20 percent of law school graduates from the class of 2010 are working in jobs that do not require a law license.
However, David Lat, who once practiced law and is now the founder and managing editor of the law blog AboveTheLaw.com, believes things are getting better.
"Law schools are actually reforming and improving. They've been slimming down," he said in a recent interview with CNBC's "Power Lunch." He added: "They've been introducing reforms to their curricula and as a result the job prospects for people who are graduating law school today are a lot better than the class of 2010."
Prior to the 2008 financial crisis, a law degree was seen by many as a ticket to wealth and repayment of education costs. The recovery, however, has disabused people of certain assumptions about a legal education.
"Choosing to attend law school is a big decision that prospective law students should not take lightly. Although many factors may influence one's decisions about whether and where to attend law school, a proper understanding of the economic cost of a legal education is vital for making an educated decision," the American Bar Association said in a report on its website about the value of a law degree.
"Far too many law students expect that earning a law degree will solve their financial problems for life. In reality, however, attending law school can become a financial burden for law students who fail to consider carefully the financial implications of their decision," the organization added.