August 6th, 2012
As you think about whether law school is right for you—or even if you already know it is—what can you be doing now, in college or beyond, to improve your chances of getting in? In this series, “The Short on Long-Term Planning,” jdMission Senior Consultant Mary Adkins offers tips on how to make smart moves in the pre-application stage.
As internships, vacations and summers spent on your parents’ couch come to a close, here is a tip for those of you thinking about law school: talk to lawyers. Particularly if you are working with them, now is a good time to gather some information that would be harder to get later.
A common misconception is that information about a particular kind of law practice is easy for you to get in law school. In reality, law school is about teaching you the theory of law. Very little time and resources are devoted to helping you figure out in which direction you want to take your legal career. A great thing—and potentially bad thing—about law is that you could take it in a lot of directions.
Ask specific questions. What is a typical day like for you? How about a standard week? What is your favorite thing about your job? What is hard about it? How did you choose this area of law?
Even if the only lawyer you know is a family law attorney and you know you do not want to practice family law, this person could still be a valuable resource. You can ask how she realized what she did not want to do, what the decision process was like, and how she has felt about that decision. You can likely even get referrals—names of other lawyers who practice in areas that interest you.
Law school is as open-ended as it is short. Before you know it, you are looking for a first summer job, then a second—and these are often how you secure a permanent position after graduation. Start researching now. Most people will be more than happy to talk to you about themselves. You may even have to stop them.
Posted in The Short on Long-Term Planning