Being a lawyer can have its many perks. People respect you when it comes to all things about the law. They can easily confide in you their deepest legal woes knowing that you’ll be treating these with utmost confidentiality. But getting a career in law is never easy. It takes patience, perseverance, and a lot of hard work. The good news is that you can always plan for your future career in law if you adhere to these 10 things.
1. Aim for Academic Excellence
Entering law school is tough. The admission requirements are some of the most stringent among all professions. While there are certain schools that may have more lax academic requirements, most top-tier law schools will be looking at your academic performance in college. But don’t think that this is enough. Some will also look at your LSAT scores while others will be more interested in your co- or extra-curricular activities. The point is that being a lawyer means your cognitive skills are some of the highest especially when it comes to logic and reasoning.
2. Have a Feel for Certain Law Courses
You may still be in college, but that doesn’t mean you cannot try and take up some law courses if these are offered in your university. The whole idea is to try to get a feel for what a daily grind in an actual law school will feel like. This will also give you an opportunity to gauge your level of interest in lawyering. If it really interests you, then you can create a more definitive plan on how you can start building a career in law.
3. Focus on a College Major that Can Prepare You to Be the Type of Lawyer You Want
A career in law requires expertise in certain fields. For example, if you can envision yourself as an excellent criminal lawyer, then you should focus on psychology as a college major. If you are considering a career in corporate law, then you should major in business and economics. Likewise, if your field of interest is in politics or governance, then history and political science are courses that will prepare you for such a role. English is always a great major to focus on since you’ll be using it to enhance your argumentation and writing skills.
4. Watch Out for Opportunities in School Where You Can Display Your Level of Engagement
If there are debate activities or even moot court in your school, do everything you can to participate in them. Most law schools are interested in your level of engagement in school because this gives them an idea of just how well-rounded you are. They don’t necessarily need law students who are content only with reading law books. They also need someone who can extend his excellence beyond the four corners of the classroom.
5. Try Student Governance
Becoming actively involved in student politics is always a good exercise to hone your skills in drafting legislations that will benefit everyone in your school. Lawyers may not write the laws of the land, but they are instrumental in the building of more sensible laws. Law schools know this and as such would want their students to have an experience in such matters.
6. Be a Volunteer with Organizations in Your Community
Law schools will also be looking at how well you spend your idle time. You’ll earn more plus points for your law school application if you can show that you’ve been actively involved in community-based organizations. Law educators want their apprentices to also think of the greater good and not just the interests of any given client. Think of any opportunity that community organizations can provide and determine how this can help in your future career as a lawyer.
7. Hone Your Communication Skills
One of the most important skills that a lawyer must have is communication, both written and oral. You must be able to sharpen these skills by engaging in activities that let you develop them. You can have your very own podcast to sharpen your oral skills while creating your own blog which you update weekly should also help in your writing skills. Alternatively, you can always choose to get a college major that requires intensive writing.
8. Get First-Hand Information on Being a Lawyer from Successful Lawyers
They call these informational interviews. Technically, you will be asking your alumni association or even your family to introduce you to lawyers that they know and are friends with. You can then ask these practicing lawyers if they can spare you a few minutes of their time. This is your opportunity to obtain first-hand information, and perhaps even useful tips, on becoming a successful lawyer. You might even discover just what field of law you would want to take when you enter law school. How to Choose a Lawyer for Your Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
9. Consider Job Shadowing
Interviewing lawyers may give you an idea of the kind of lawyer you want to be, but it doesn’t really give you a complete picture of what a typical day of a lawyer is like. You can ask your alumni association if they can refer you to a practicing lawyer who is also an alumnus of the school. Or better yet, if your family has a practicing lawyer, you might want to ask them if you can shadow them on the job. This will help you gain a better understanding of what a typical day is like for a lawyer.
10. Be a Law Firm Intern
There are law firms that accept internships. You can work as a legal assistant for an attorney during the summer so you’ll have a better understanding of the inner workings of a career in law. You’ll also get to put into practice the different concepts or principles you’ve learned in law school so that they will have more meaning since you’re able to apply them in real life.
Becoming a lawyer isn’t a walk in the park. With perseverance and dedication, you can nevertheless lay the foundation for a bright career in law. Thank you to Aronberg Law Boca Raton for contributing to this article.