Deciding whether to go to law school is a big decision. Preparing for the LSAT and choosing which law school to attend can be a difficult task. If you happen to be considering attending law school, here are a few tips to help make sure you are adequately prepared for your future career in the legal field.
TIPS FOR THOSE CONSIDERING LAW SCHOOL
1. ATTEND LAW SCHOOL IN THE STATE YOU WISH TO PRACTICE
When choosing which law school to attend, think about where you want to practice. Going to a law school in the state where you wish to practice may make it easier to pass the bar, and it may make your job search easier as well. Many law school courses focus on teaching a broad view of the law throughout different states but will pay special attention to the law or decisions that are applicable within their state. This will help you learn the nuances of the law within that state, which will make it easier to study for your bar prep course that specifically focuses on that state’s laws.
In addition, going to law school in the state where you wish to practice may provide you with more networking opportunities. You will have more access to internships, externships, and other networking events in the state where you attend law school because that is where they will be interviewing and looking.
2. ATTEND A LAW SCHOOL WITH MANY CLINICAL OPPORTUNITIES
Law school courses offer a lot of instruction, but practical experience is invaluable. One of the best ways to obtain practical experience is through participating in school clinics. Clinics are programs that offer legal services to real clients through the law school, while giving experience to law students. Clinics allow students to take what they learned in class and apply it in a real-life situation. Many law schools offer clinical opportunities in multiple practice areas ranging from criminal defense to civil practice. Before applying to law school, it is a good idea to research the schools being considered to determine what clinical opportunities are available for students.
3. LOOK AT JOB PLACEMENT
When deciding which law schools to attend, it is important for students to look at the job placement for graduates of the school. Researching the percentage of students that have jobs upon graduation is a good way of assessing the performance of different schools. The American Bar Association publishes reports on this information from accredited law schools, which shows the number of graduates and their employment status, as well as the type of employer. Some law schools place well in government positions, while others place better in law firms of various sizes. While you may not be certain whether you want to practice in a law firm, government position, or elsewhere, it is important to review this information to get an idea of the job opportunities that typically are found at each law school.
4. GET EXPERIENCE BEFORE LAW SCHOOL
In addition to seeking out clinics, those considering law school should search for opportunities for practical experience not only during law school, but also before they start classes. If you are considering law school, it is helpful to get practical experience as soon as possible. Most law firms have internships of some sort available for law students, but some small firms may also offer paid or unpaid clerical positions to those that have not yet begun law school. This practical experience prior to law school will give you a better understanding of how a law office is run.
5. TAKE LSAT PREP COURSE
If you are considering law school and have yet to take the LSAT, strongly consider taking a course to make sure you obtain the highest score possible. This score will be used to determine not only whether you will be admitted to a certain law school, but also whether you are eligible for scholarships. Law school tuition can be expensive, and taking the extra time with an instructor will improve your chances at a higher score which may translate to more scholarship opportunities. Some may try to study for the LSAT without formal instruction, but those that have taken a formal preparatory course tend to score higher.
**Reiling Teder & Schrier, LLC is an Indiana Limited Liability Company. The information contained in this website has been prepared by Reiling Teder & Schrier, LLC for informational purposes only, and is not legal advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon to make any decision, legal or otherwise. If you have any specific questions or inquiries regarding any of the information contained in this website, you should consult with an attorney licensed in your state. The information contained in this website pertains only to matters of Indiana law and the laws of other states may be completely different from the laws of the State of Indiana.