Is law school worth it for a career in entrepreneurship?

<p>l'm interested in the legal field and think a knowledge of the legal system will be helpful in a business career (where I would like to end up eventually). I would like to continue with entrepreneurship (I'm starting my own business now). However, I would probably work in a firm/legal department for a year or two before this in order to learn the ins and outs of legal practice. So, overall this would take me 4-5 years to complete. That means I would spend 4-5 years NOT gaining business experience. Currently, I have been working on a start-up business since I graduated from undergrad (May 2011). Although my partners can run it while I'm in LS, I would miss out on the work experience that they will gain. Also, I have a few more business ideas that I will most likely have to postpone if I go to LS (but obviously there is no guarantee that they will be successful).</p>

<p>However, like I said, I would LIKE to go to law school. And I have a reasonably good shot of getting into a top school, or getting a full-ride to a middle-tier school. Although, neither are guaranteed. Furthermore, if I were an attorney, I could do all of my own legal services. Also, I think that law school would be helpful to strengthen my professional skills, and would give me confidence in my career. However, is the stress of LS worth it when I can probably hire an attorney and gain these skills some other way? I'm also afraid that I'm pursuing a law degree simply for self-validation (though I'm probably the only one that can answer that question).</p>

<p>What do you guys think I should do?</p>

<p>I am a lawyer. I have to be frank with you and tell you that a law degree is pretty worthless, in my opinion, if you want to be an entrepenuer. Better to get an MBA, and take classes in small business. I would say that perhaps a school like Babson might be good for that, but that is just a guess.</p>

<p>If you want to go to law school, I would go at night, and not sacrifice three years of job experience.</p>

<p>Thanks, Floridadad. It's nice to get advice from a lawyer.</p>

<p>Are there any entrepreneurs out there with advice to offer?</p>

<p>I'm not an entrepreneur per se, but I was on a team of 7 people for a startup (founders included) after I graduated high school so we worked really closely on everything. I think if your ultimate goal is business, then do business. Experience in the legal field will give you experience in the legal field. That is to say, it won't necessarily be of much help when it comes to running your business, and should you run into legal trouble, you'll have lawyers for that. Luckily, legal parlance is not a mystic language and once you get passed the unnecessary Latin use, you'll understand the situation as the lawyer sees it and you both can work on how to solve the problem. If you're really interested in school, like floridadad said, business school would probably be best.</p>

<p>Good luck in your endeavour</p>

<p>I teach entrepreneurship courses at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. I am also involved in a couple startup companies and my students work with and advise startups all the time. Personally, I think a law degree is very useful to entrepreneurs, especially if it is combined with an MBA. Many universities offer JD/MBA concurrent programs.</p>

<p>I have both degrees and believe that a knowledge of the law is a great addition to any skillset you may bring into an entrepreneurial venture. Even if you are not the company's lawyer, you can spot issues and communicate with the venture's lawyer. Additionally, you can save the venture money by doing basic aspects of entity formation, contract review, etc.</p>

<p>On it's own, I'm not sure a law degree is a huge asset for an entrepreneur; however, when combined as another tool with what you'd learn in an MBA program, I think it's extremely valuable.</p>

<p>Good luck.</p>

<p>On it's own, I'm not sure a law degree is a huge asset for an entrepreneur; however, when **combined as another tool with what you'd learn in an MBA program, I think it's extremely valuable.</p>

<p>Another lawyer here - I agree with this.</p>

<p>Absolutely you should NOT go to law school to become an entrepreneur. I went to Harvard Law which has launched a lot of non-lawyers, and as somebody thinking of making the transition to the business world myself, I can tell you being a lawyer does not help in the process. B-school isn't necessarily the answer; you might be best off not going to school at all, depending on the type of work you want to do. I read most of Amazon.com:</a> The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business (9781591843528): Josh Kaufman: Books and found it a useful substitute for B-school.</p>

<p>Re: law school, you really need to know what law school is like, and even more importantly what being a lawyer is like. They you have to think about whether it's really a match for you. I think </p>

<p>Should</a> I go to law school? Law school cure. | What you need to know before you go to law school. </p>

<p>should be useful for you. good luck!
-d</p>