You’re probably asking yourself if law school is right for you. Some people might say that if you’re asking yourself that, the answer is no, but I think it’s perfectly normal to wonder that.
Some of us knew we wanted to pursue a JD before we started undergrad, others started to consider the possibility after an event impacted them, and, to others, the idea just occurred. Whatever your situation is, the best thing you can do is pursue opportunities that will help prepare you for law school.
So, what can you do?
- Join the Pre-Law Society/Organization at your university
- This, I believe, is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Drop by one of the meetings to check things out and ask who the pre-law adviser is for the organization, often times the adviser for the organization is also the person designated on the LSAC account for your university.
- Joining your pre-law org will help you learn of resources available to you, including networking, internships, volunteer opportunities, practice LSATs, and forums. I highly recommend being an active member and becoming an officer too. I was president of my pre-law society and will go more in-depth on this in another post.
- Do an internship
- Law school is not cheap. You don’t want to go into thousands of dollars in debt without ever setting foot in a law firm. While you might not have a clear idea of what type of law you’d like to practice, or know more or less what areas you like, an internship at a law firm can really help you see if you like this career path or not. The internships I’ve done helped me realize I made the right decision by choosing to pursue this career path.
- You can learn about internship opportunities at pre-law meetings, you can also ask professors if they know of any opportunities available. You will most likely have the option to do your internship for credit, and the amount of hours you need to do per week usually depends on the credits you will be earning for your internship class.
- Your experience and responsibilities will vary depending on the law firm you’re at, but make the best of it no matter what. Try to have one-on-one conversations with the attorneys who work at the firm and work on building a relationship with them, especially your supervisor in the office. Doing a great job can result in a recommendation letter, a future job offer, and a mentor.
- Do a law school preparation program
- My university offers a law school program to help prepare students for law school. This program is by invitation only and no more than 20 students are chosen to participate in it. I am an alumni from this program and I am extremely grateful for it. My program met for 5 weeks, Monday-Saturday, for about 40-44 hours per week, and we took classes in logic, briefing cases, and legal research and writing. We also had an LSAT class and met with law school Deans and professors from all the Texas’ law schools. This program, though intense, made me realize just how much I love the study of law and how much I can’t wait to be a lawyer.
- If your university offers a similar program, I highly suggest you take advantage of it. This can help you realize whether you’ll like the law school experience or not. If reading through long cases and briefing them sounds like something you wouldn’t enjoy, it’s better for you to realize that now instead of once you get to law school.
- Major in something you enjoy
- You don’t have to major in a certain thing to go to law school. Some universities offer majors designed for students wanting to go to law school, and others don’t, mine didn’t. I majored in political science/ government because it is something that I like and enjoy. However, I also enjoy accounting, and there’s been times I wish I had pursued a double major in political science and accounting.
- If you like a certain area of study, try it out, don’t limit yourself to whatever you think law schools will like most. Keep in mind that your GPA is a very important part of your application, and a major you enjoy will likely help you in achieving a competitive GPA. Also, try to take classes that will require you to use your analytical skills, and classes that are reading and writing intensive. If your particular major does not require much reading or writing, consider adding a minor in a field that does, political science/government, philosophy, and history are good options to add on.
These are just some suggestions on things you can do to find out if you truly want to be a lawyer.