Preparing for your career may involve completing years of postsecondary schooling or acquiring practical experience. Some people must earn an undergraduate degree while others gain essential skills through apprenticeships.
Becoming a lawyer involves completing several years of college studies. Aspiring lawyers must earn an undergraduate degree, pass the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), and complete three years of studies at an accredited law school. Once they’ve earned their law degree, lawyers must take the bar exam and receive their license to practice law. If you’re an aspiring lawyer, you can use the tips explored here to prepare for your law career.
Develop exceptional study skills.
Lawyers typically spend seven years completing postsecondary studies before earning their law degree. You’ll have a lot of papers to write and tests to take during that time, which is why you’ll benefit from honing your study skills. Using effective study habits can help you reduce your time studying and increase your understanding of the subject matter. Developing your study skills will pay off when you begin your law career because lawyers spend time researching their cases. Sharpening your memorization skills can help you locate data quickly and remember information from your research.
Gain practical experience.
You can start acquiring practical experience before you complete college. Apply for internship opportunities at reputable law firms, such as Nava Wilson LLP. Working in a law firm provides first-hand exposure to law firm operational procedures, ensuring you know what to expect when taking on your first role as an attorney.
You’ll also learn about different types of legal cases. Working under the supervision of a reputable lawyer such as Malliha Wilson offers exposure to corporate, human rights, Indigenous, and labour law cases. You’ll benefit from exposure to complex litigation, and taking on an internship with someone like Wilson could help you with your application to law school. Wilson graduated from York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School and is an Osgoode Hall Law School Alumni Association board member.
Choose a legal specialty.
Choosing a law career is the first step on your path to a legal career, but you must also choose a legal specialization. Your legal specialization can help you determine which law school you attend because some law schools may not have courses suited to your chosen specialty.
Your specialization determines what types of cases you’ll work on once you start your career. For example, lawyers specializing in criminal law may work as criminal defense attorneys or prosecutors. Criminal law attorneys may present evidence in local, state, and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada. They must be familiar with state or provincial penal codes and legal precedents that could be used to build legal cases.
Personal injury attorneys represent accident victims. Business attorneys may work for companies instead of law firms and spend their careers preparing legal documents, reviewing contracts, and determining procedures the company must implement to comply with laws and regulations. Other legal specialties include family law, environmental law, patent law, and health care law.
Apply for scholarships and start saving.
Completing seven years of postsecondary studies is expensive. Students must pay for tuition, purchase textbooks and supplies, pay for housing, and cover other costs, such as meals and school fees.
You can turn to Scholarship America and apply for scholarships to secure funds for college. High school students can talk to their school guidance counselor about scholarships and financing options that may be available. It’s also helpful to start saving funds as soon as possible. Budgeting helps you manage your money, ensuring you control your spending and enabling you to save funds for college.
Aspiring lawyers can start preparing for their law careers in high school. Developing study skills, acquiring practical experience, choosing a specialty, applying for scholarships, and securing academic financing are some ways to prepare for your future law career.