Planning on becoming a lawyer? If you fancy the idea of putting on a suit and showing up in court, I hope you also fancy the idea of countless sleepless nights spent studying and a six-figure debt, because that’s what following legal education basically means. The idea behind this article is not to scare you into dropping out of law school, but rather make you aware of what you’re getting into for the next seven years of your life.
Before you get started, you might want to check out this course to learn about obtaining scholarships and other methods of funding your education, because law school isn’t exactly cheap.
Even though your education in the legal field technically starts only when you get accepted at a law school, the preparations start way earlier – as early as high school. This is the perfect time to work on your organizational skills and put together an efficient learning plan. While it may not make that much of a difference during high school, it will start paying off during college, and prove to be the best decision you’ve ever made once you start law school. This online course on mind mapping is the perfect resource for working your organizational skills, your creativity and your memory.
Pick Your College Wisely
The real road towards your career as a lawyer starts with college. In order to be admitted at a law school, you will need to graduate college and get your bachelor’s degree. Since there are multiple categories of lawyers, it is important to figure out which field you plan to enter, and try to pick a college specialization that will help you on your future career path. If you’re not completely familiar with the categories, or just need some clarifications, this blog post explains what each type of lawyer does.
There are no real requirements as to what specialization you need to follow in college, but opting for something like English, Economics or Public Speaking will definitely be of use. It is important to find something that you also like, as you will need to keep your GPA as high as possible if you want to land a spot at a top law school.
Building your way up to a prestigious law school implies that you build up a pretty impressive resume as well, and what better way to do so than to involve in as many volunteer activities as possible? Unfortunately you will have to skip on those crazy college parties and spend every moment you have doing something for your future; learn, volunteer, get into campus politics – do whatever it takes to stand out and make your resume shine. While you’re at it, make sure to befriend some professors, as their recommendation letters are worth more than gold at a law school admission.
You have four years to make the most out of your college education, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan ahead, especially if you intend to start law school right after you graduate. Look for ABA-accredited law schools and find everything you can about their requirements and their reputation. Once you found a few options that appeal to you, start learning for your Law School Admission Test.
Law School and Beyond
The LSAT and your GPA are the factors that will determine whether you get admitted or not into your law school of choice. If you get a good LSAT score and get accepted as a full-time student, you will finish law school in three years, while being accepted as a part-time student will add an extra year to that.
Don’t think that just because you got accepted the hard part is over; truth is, the hard part is just starting. The legal field is amongst the most difficult areas of study, and also one of the most costly, but even though you will likely end up with a debt of around $150,000 to $200,000, it will be well worth it – working as a lawyer will pay off. However, after the three of four years of law school, there’s one last challenge in your path: the Bar exam; pass that and you’re officially a certified lawyer.
As you can see, a lawyer position is not for everybody: if the seven years of assiduous learning won’t scare you, chances are the high costs of education will. Also, don’t think that the learning stops when law school is over, as there are plenty other things you can learn to help you perform your job better, like learning the secrets of body language or taking some courses to learn how to use Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel for lawyers.
So, do you have what it takes to become a lawyer?