Summary: It’s never too early to think about law school and becoming a lawyer. Just make certain you don’t overdo your preparation for both, which could damage your chances.
- It’s never too early to plan or at least dream of becoming a lawyer.
- In fact the earlier a prospective attorney begins to plan their trek into practicing law the better.
- To that end, some future lawyers plan their career path as early as high school.
- With that known, here are the top 4 things high schoolers who want to be lawyers should know.
There’s no doubt that those who plan their careers the earliest more than likely have an advantage over those who do not or those who are unsure of what they want to do in life.
Young adults who are in high school who want to become lawyers more often than not fall into the “advantageous” category of future professionals, particularly law.
They have a jump on the competition simply by understanding albeit in likely its most elementary form what it takes to become a lawyer.
- These high schoolers may perceive that to become a successful lawyer requires hard work and long hours on the job.
- Or they may understand that there are many benefits to becoming an attorney, such as money, power and prestige.
Regardless of what high schoolers know or don’t know about the legal profession, they still have an awareness of what being a lawyer is, which translates into a very good springboard that can propel them toward a legal career as they complete high school, undergraduate and finally law school.
So what are the most important aspects of law that these budding legal talents should know? Keep reading to find out the foremost 4 characteristics high schoolers should know according to an article published by U.S. News and World Report titled 4 Tips for High Schoolers Considering Law School.
- Take AP classes that focus on reading, writing and research.
AP classes that focus heavily on reading, writing and research can be hugely beneficial not just to a student’s undergraduate education, but later on when they reach law school.
Lawyers often have to study and break down long, complicated texts. And high school students, who begin to think, process and understand in-depth papers, documents and passages from books will invariably hold sway over those who have not yet been exposed to such writing.
Of course taking classes that strengthen your reading and writing abilities will serve multiple purposes.
AP classes lay the groundwork to become a successful college student and provide the much needed assets when preparing for the
LSAT and law school afterward where fast – but careful – reading is critical to a successful law school career
The U.S. News and World Report suggests that students who suffer from lower GPA scores in their freshman year simply because they're not yet adept at writing college-level essays, could boost their desirability with AP level courses, which can make all the difference between getting into law school or not getting into law school
- Broaden your mindset.
Some people will tell students who major in the humanities, such as English Literature, political science or philosophy, that these concentrations will get them nowhere.
Well, that’s wrong, particularly when it comes to law school and law in general as reading, writing and above all communication,
all of which is learned through humanity-oriented subjects.
Yet, at the same time, if you as a college student majored in the hard or soft sciences, law schools could become attracted to you as a well-rounded applicant and student who will contribute to a more diverse law school student body.
As the article outlines, if you want to go to law school but are also interested in chemistry, by all means, make that your college major and take the AP classes to better prepare you for it. In addition to majoring in a field you're interested in, you will also keep your options open if you ultimately decide that law school isn't for you.
- Participate in diverse extracurricular activities.
While in high school, students who are interested in a legal career should look into opportunities that offer hands-on experience in the legal world.
Legally-oriented summer jobs such as internships in law firms
, courthouses, representatives' offices can be a very good start, not to mention look fantastic on a law school application.
Sure, there are more fun and glamorous ways to spend a summer, but prospective law students will gain invaluable information about the mechanics of the court system and legislature, the daily work of an attorney or even basic things like the difference between a memo and a brief.
- Don't stretch yourself too thin.
In some cases high school students who dream of having a legal career may tend to put too much pressure on themselves by:
- Overloading on classes with the idea that taking a multitude of subjects will help them get into law school.
- Overloading on extracurricular activities with the idea these activities will help them get into law school.
And you know what? All those classes and extracurricular activities will help you get into law school.
But what won’t help you into law school is burnout caused by the extra work you’ve taken on.
No law school will take you if you look as if you’re emerging exhausted from the salt mines, when in general you’re just emerging from your bedroom or your school’s library with the weary face of a salt miner.
In short, don’t burnout. After all, you still have classes to worry about, in addition to college applications, AP exams, SAT or ACT prep, and hobbies and a social life.
Much like everything in life, the answer is moderation. Yes, applying to law school
is very competitive, but over-preparation can be worse than not taking any specific action at all. So instead of studying for the LSAT while still in high school, remember that you still have a few years to check some of the boxes law schools are looking for, and go enjoy some of the free time you still have, which once you are an attorney, you’ll look fondly back on.
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