What Motivates You to Go To Law School?

What Motivates Students to Go To Law School?

I was asked to write a blog about the “Value of attendance and Scholarship” as it relates to going to law school. I have to admit, at first, I was thrown by this request. Was I to keep it as simple as telling you to go class? Did you want another hack blog post on how to get a better law school scholarship and how to play the game? That would be too simple and probably even a little insulting to someone looking to go law school. Let’s “up” the game and start asking the real question. What motivates you?

External or Extrinsic Motivators To Go to Law School

When discussing motivation and law school, I get pulled into thinking about my favorite T.V. agent Ari Gold from the show Entourage. Ari is just a “lowly” Harvard grad with a J.D. /M.B.A from Michigan. One of his most memorable and honest quotes is, “Nobody’s happy in this town (L.A.) except for the losers. Look at me, I’m miserable, that’s why I’m rich.” This leads me to our first type of motivator, “external” or “extrinsic.” Extrinsic motivators include things like money, prestige, power, admiration. All of these “rewards” are external to the process of going to law school. To some, this is all they need. If you are this person, that’s okay. External rewards can induce interest and participation in something in which you had no initial concern. This seems a little backwards for a prospective student looking to spend the next three years of their lives doing nothing else but studying, going to class and dedicating any all free moments to learning the practice of law. If you are this person, this is something you might want to take a few minutes to think about.

Intrinsic Motivators  in Attending Law School

To be successful in law school, you will need to start with intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation involves engaging in a behavior because it is personally rewarding rather than the desire for some external reward. Our most successful students fall into this category. They are driven by an internal desire to practice law. They find the value in the Florida Coastal School of Law degree. Our motivation is intrinsic too. We promise to support and encourage the personal goals of each and every student. We’re not driven to move up a ranking by the same magazine that named Albuquerque the #1 city in America to live in. (Editor’s note: We are sure Albuquerque is a very nice city and we meant no disrespect to the people that live there. It’s not the city for me just like the top 14 law schools are not for everybody.) We’re driven by each student that walks into our classrooms, courtrooms, library and offices.

Finally, you’re probably asking, “Where is the scholarship portion of this blog?” Here it is. I recommend you do NOT go to a school that asks you, “What is it going to take (in terms of scholarship) to get you to deposit at my school. This is the #1 sign to turn and run as fast as you can.


Good luck with your law school search. If you want to talk to me about attending Coastal Law, shoot me an email (acardenas@fcsl.edu) or call the office and ask for Tony.

P.S. – As for happiness? Only you can figure that out. There are a lot of miserable lawyers out there. Guess what motivated them to attend law school.


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