Posted April 09, 2015 by

The Road to Law School: 4 Ways to Start Your Journey Early

University of Michigan Law School building

University of Michigan Law School building. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Law school is not merely a three-year commitment. Rather, it is the culmination of a years-long journey that begins no later than your first day of college. Here are a few ways to get ahead of the game and set yourself up for success in law school and beyond.

Find Your Academic Niche While Keeping an Eye Toward the Future

When it comes to law school admissions, where you went to school is far less important than what kind of grades you earned while you were in school. Therefore, getting good grades from day one is an absolute must. It all counts, so make sure not to choose a GPA-killing major like engineering or chemistry unless you are absolutely certain you will be able to excel. Know thyself, or you may end up regretting your choice when you make it to the actual application process.

Study for the LSAT, and Then Study for the LSAT Some More

It may seem strange—or even quite unfair—that a single Saturday morning could have such a dramatic impact on your professional future and, by extension, the rest of your life. Unfortunately, for better or for worse, that is the reality of the situation. You should have somewhere around 200 hours of LSAT-specific studying under your belt before you attempt to tackle the real thing, so attempting to cram for it in a couple of weeks simply will not do.

You will also need money to buy prep materials or, depending on how much you are willing to shell out, register for an in-person prep course. Start saving your money and planning your study schedule long before you plan to take the test.

Internships

Getting experience working in an office setting—particularly in the legal field—will allow you to see firsthand what your day-to-day professional life may look like and what it may entail. Your school’s career services office should be able to provide you with information about how to land an internship, and the experience you end up gaining (not to mention the professional network you will begin to develop) will prove invaluable in the future.

Understand the Difference Between Law Degrees

When thinking about getting a law degree, most people tend to function as though there is only one kind. For instance, a career as a paralegal only takes an associate’s degree in many cases, and business CEOs, social workers, and many other professionals may actually want to get a Master of Science in Law degree that better suits their backgrounds. For those who are already in a profession, an online master’s in law may be the best way to go.

Networking

People love to talk about what they do, so the best way to learn about careers in your field of interest is to talk to the people who actually have them. Once you obtain their contact information, do not be afraid to call or e-mail them out of the blue. The odds of them wanting to talk to you about their professional lives are much higher than you may think.

The journey toward law school begins long before you begin filling out your first application. You must remain focused on your goal throughout college, and you may have to make some sacrifices along the way. Do not get discouraged and allow myopia to get the best of you. If you stay the course, you will be handsomely rewarded in the long run.

A professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

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