So – you want to be a lawyer. Movies like A Few Good Men and television programs like Suits have romanticized the career, but, in reality, the vocation can be demanding and arduous. Yes, you most certainly can forge a great career out of it, but it is not as easy as going from your TV couch straight to the courtroom. Before you dive into the world of law, keep these three pointers in mind.
Choose The Right Law School
One of the most important decisions you will make on this journey is deciding which law school to go to. You do not necessarily need to go to Harvard or Yale, but you do need to keep in mind that it may be more difficult to find a job once you graduate if your degree does not come from a well-renowned school. If you can’t afford to attend a highly ranked school, it is not an exaggeration to say you are going to need excellent grades in order to land a desirable job right out of law school. You will need to show potential employees that just because you did not go to the best school, thatdoes not mean that you did not take your education seriously. Having said that, apply everywhere. You never know which school might accept you, and the worst thing that can happen is you receive a rejection letter.
Gain Relevant Experience
Even though you will be busy in law school, you should still find time to gain some experience. Try to get a part time job working in a legal setting. You will gain valuable insight as to how law works and the ways that certain cases are handled. No matter how long you are in law school you can still learn a lot about what the justice system looks like in action even before you graduate. If you have trouble finding a good job right out of school, consider work as a paralegal or clerk in order to gain the necessary experience. It will teach you the ropes and show future employers you are not afraid of hard work. Many of the world’s best lawyers started out this way.
Do Not Expect Success Overnight
A lot needs to go right for you in order to land a great job early in your career. School, grades, recommendations – the whole shebang. One of the most helpful things you can do for yourself is to contact a legal recruitment agency right out of law school. These agencies specialize in helping new lawyers find work, and law firm & businesses connect with lawyers. Take any advantage you can find! Success isn’t going to happen overnight. You need to be prepared to work hard, put in long hours, and take a few losses before you get a win.
Being a lawyer can be a very fulfilling job; however, you need to make sure you set yourself up for success and have realistic expectations along the way. By working hard and keeping the above tips in mind, you will find not only a job, but a career.