If working in the legal profession is what you want to do for all the right reasons, debt and employability statistics shouldn't derail you, but they should be a consideration, says Levin. To keep financial figures in check, Levin recommends that students consider lower-cost state schools or attend law school part time. They should also do some serious research to ensure they understand what attorneys do, the variety of contexts in which they work and whether they would be a good match for the legal profession.
"If (being an attorney) is really what makes you happy, it may take longer to pay off the debt, but that doesn't mean it's not worth it," she says. "(Whether law school pays off) really depends on what you hope to get out of your law degree and what you want to do with your life."