A thought for those considering law schoolI do not want to discourage anyone from doing anything that they feel driven to do, and I certainly do not want to discourage people from taking on challenges. Believe me, if you are a parent, you can get through law school. Dealing with a newborn at 2 am or a toddler in the grocery store is harder than a Contracts class.
However, if part of your decision-making is based on financial concerns, I want you to be aware that you cannot count on getting a job at a big firm that will pay highly and allow you to pay back loans. For one thing, unless you go to Yale, Harvard, Duke, Stanford, and a handful of other schools, only people with very good grades even have the chance to interview for big firm jobs. And law school grades are not like undergrad grades. You compete. You compete with people who do not have children or spouses and have nothing they have to do except study all day and all evening. Law school parents can and do get very high grades many times, in part I think because they are forced to be very disciplined, but there is no guarantee.
The other factor is the economy. I had a fairly easy time finding a big law job two years ago. Not so now, law firms have cut hiring below 50% in some places.
There are many, many different paths that a law degree can take you on. Big firms are by no means the exclusive option. There are small firms, government jobs, solo practice, in-house positions, jobs with legal aid and public service groups, contract positions, academic positions, political positions, etc.. However, just beware when you are deciding to go to law school, and deciding which law school to go to, that you may not be making $160K the first year out of law school. You may be making $40k.