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With such a complex subculture that defines our daily lives, it is impossible for every single person to know the intricacies of the legal spectrum. And so the profession of the lawyers was founded, to serve as custodians of justice and to ensure proper judgment. Often called by the title “attorney,” these men and women are well educated and proficient in the many, many rules. The path to becoming one of them is arduous and more than a little costly, so it pays to know what you need to become a lawyer.
The Power of Knowledge
Being mentally prepared to become a lawyer is part of the struggle. Find out all you can about what it means to be a part of the legal profession. There are many divisions, and you can choose to specialize in a particular field after you have researched all the types and weighed them. Remember that specialization means higher skill in that which you focus on, so pick well. Know what it requires to be a specialist, and what to expect in your practice.
The psychological preparation is also vital. Being a legal counselor means that you will need to study hard, even when you have graduated and passed the bar. If you are not the type who can persevere for years on end, then this may not be the profession for you. The study and practice of law is not easy; nor is it done quickly. It requires dedication, passion, strength of will, and wisdom.
There are many schools for studying this profession, and they are not easy to get into. When applying to enter as a law student, make sure to send applications to at least three universities, because you cannot be sure you will be taken in. The school where you are applying should be recognized by your national governing bodies for legal studies, since it would be a waste to make that critical mistake of entering the wrong school.
There will be entrance exams to test if you are fit to study law. Be prepared, and study beforehand. There are many books and informative materials in digital form, as well as products specifically designed to prepare a prospect for these exams.
When you are accepted into a university, identify what courses and subjects you should take to specialize in your chosen portion of the legal spectrum. Plan ahead, and write down a course list for future reference. To be sure, ask a mentor: a professor, guidance counselor, graduate, or senior student.
The Hand of Justice
While in law school, participate in as many activities as you can, like joining organizations, writing for the school publication, and many others. This will help build good relations with other lawyers-to-be, whom you may face or need in the future. These activities can also improve your résumé and can spell the difference of being hired or not.
Your internship will be the most valuable learning experience prior to actually entering the field. If possible, apply for internships at respected legal firms. Learn as much as you can and make good impressions on those around you.
After graduating, the next step will be to get recognition as a competent member of the legal profession. This means taking and passing the dreaded bar exams. These exams are difficult, exacting, and there may be a fair chance that you will fail. To reduce this likelihood of failure, one must prepare as never before. You may spend nights toiling away in preparation, but the night before the exams make sure to get enough rest and nutrition. It is not unknown for exam takers to faint from exhaustion, so take measure to prevent this. It is bothersome to reschedule an exam if it is possible not to, plus it can trouble your fellow exam-takers. Of course, the higher your scores, the more famous your name will be and will partly determine how well you start your career.
In countries like the United States, a state license instead of a national license may be required, so you will need to get certified for your intended location of practice.
Prepare a résumé that highlights your relevant skills. Your internship will factor a lot here, since it indicates just how exposed you are to the real legal world. Your extracurricular activities may prove useful, but not always, so put them in as “extra” information instead of primary information.
As a lawyer, you may make enemies along the way. The risks are great, but so are the rewards. Remember to take care of yourself and ensure the security of your loved ones.