Choosing to dedicate your career to the legal profession is a big decision. Getting there is no small task, either. Law school can cost a pretty penny, and job prospects aferward can be scarce. If you have a clear objective for your career, and you’ve decided to follow through with this undertaking, here’s some advice on how to navigate the time you spend earning your law degree.
Develop a Strong Work Ethic in College: Law school is a lot of work, and so is being a professional in the field. Be prepared for it and know ahead of time that discipline, persistence, and stamina are attributes of most successful law students and lawyers, and the sooner you accept that reality, the better.
- Working Smart is as Important as Working Hard: The sheer number of hours spent in the library is not the best measure of what constitutes a good effort in law school. Strategy is important in law school, just as it will be when you’re a lawyer in the real world, and what matters most is how efficiently you spend your time as well as how much time you spend.
- Be Aware of the Economic Realities of Attending University: Student debt loads are high after law school, and job prospects three years from now are more uncertain than ever before. While you’re in school, think carefully before making decisions that might affect your own financial future. What you do in school will enhance your marketability. Begin networking, even while in law school.
- Work on Your Writing Skills During and After Law School: A big part of the legal profession is analyzing and translating what you’ve read and creating a written product. Written communication is a lawyer’s stock-in-trade. Learning to write effectively about legal topics takes time and requires you to stay engaged. While there are required courses in “legal writing,” you’ll want to keep your writing chops sharp throughout your time in law school and in your career.