Summer is over and the fall semester is upon us. For some, this means starting law school — an exciting prospect at best, and a daunting one at worst. Either way, this experience is a mandatory rite of passage before exploring your career options in the legal world.
Law school has garnered quite the reputation over the years for its rigorous nature, which can become gruelling. It’s important to remember that there’s no clear-cut path to success here. The best you can do is stay focused, hydrate (no, coffee doesn’t count), and bear the following bits of advice in mind. After all, these legal professionals were in your shoes not too long ago.
Keep an open mind, but prepare for anything
The first thing to know is that no lawyer’s experience can be the blueprint for your personal law school journey. You must find your own revision methods, do a lot of briefing, and pick your specialisation. If you wanted to become a lawyer for a particular cause, now is the time to arm your passion with knowledge and experience.
Don’t get distracted by people and their horror stories of law school or the practice of law. Go in with an open mind and let your own 3 years shape your overall experience.
— Danyal Bajwa (@haaaguy) August 25, 2020
Do not relinquish whatever cause you were passionate about in college; channel that passion in law school.
— Amjad Mahmood Khan (@AmjadMKhanEsq) August 24, 2020
Make full use of every practical opportunity
Internships, externships, legal clinics, court time — these are all valuable aspects of law school that you should not miss out on. Now is the time to not only explore the field, but also begin sharpening digital and communication skills for your career.
Don’t worry about Blackacre. Nobody cares and that’s not real life. Also, take externships and get real legal clinical experience if you can.
— Anjali 👑 (@anjalilawoffice) August 25, 2020
Go to Court! Make some time to watch arraignments, motions, pleas, trials etc. You’ll see how lawyers make submissions, cross-examine, and enter evidence in real life (not tv). It is the best place to put together all the pieces you’re learning in the classroom.
— Melissa Scott (@MelissaRScott) August 24, 2020
Your school likely offers some form of legal tech/innovation, process improvement/project management course or extra curricular. Seek it out. Balance the theory with the practical.
— irrelefant (@sammielefant) August 24, 2020
Seriously, it is a “speaking profession”. Take every opportunity to practice your communication skills – participate in Zoom coffee dates, office hours, and informational interviews. Flippantly, learn to book brief well. It may help you resell your used textbooks.
— C. Weller (@thelawsofmonet) August 24, 2020
Network, network, network
That’s right, professional networking begins now. Classmates, seniors, faculty members, industry partners — talk to them all and soak in their insights. Engage with law school graduates who are new to practice as well as those who left. Get opinions from all sides, and keep in touch. After all, you never know whom you will cross paths with later in life.
Make friends with upper classmates and ask for their outlines.
— Matthew Miles Monroe (@jssmatt) August 24, 2020
Find practicing lawyers and talk to them… find renegades who left the practice of law and talk to them too… ask lots of questions… and try to learn from books and mentors about the evolution of the law over time so you get the underlying principles and the directional trend
— John Cunningham (@CunnJohn) August 24, 2020
Choose a path to get you your first job. After that, you can do whatever you want. And network, network, NETWORK.
— The Law Offices of Paul Jones (@jonesnycpllc) August 24, 2020