It seems that many people dream of one day becoming a high profile lawyer, setting lofty goals for themselves as they move forward through school. However, without knowledge of how to get into law school and what to expect while there, those dreams can never become a reality.
Where does an aspiring law student start? To whom should you turn for more information?
The best place to start your path to law school is by speaking with a prelaw advisor. Your advisor can be found at your undergraduate institution and would be happy to help you determine whether or not you are a candidate, where you should apply, and what course you should follow to achieve your goal.
Law school is not for everyone. Critical thinking and writing abilities are required, as well as a feeling for the humanities (social sciences, natural sciences, art, and other things affecting human experience). An education in logical reasoning, written and oral expression, and critical analysis provide a good basis for acceptance to law school, regardless of your major. Excellent performance and rigorous course schedules are very important in providing an acceptable educational history to a law school.
Law school will equip you to analyze legal issues and stay abreast of the continuously changing laws and policies. A lawyer must be able to think on his or her feet and adjust to the evolving legal environment in which they must function. Lawyers must be able to provide useful and intelligent counsel to individuals regarding the law and its functionality. Clear speaking and writing abilities are also a must. Law school will prepare you for all of the aspects of being a lawyer, as well as teaching the arts of persuasion and negotiation, which also become a large part of a law career.
There is no specific curriculum that a law school follows; they do vary from school to school. However, most states require a lawyer to have graduated from an American Bar Association approved law school in order to earn admission into the bar. These schools provide the basic information and training necessary to take and pass the bar exam. Typically, states require a law student to attend the law school institution for at least three years full time or four years part time. Most law schools, though providing training for different sorts of legal professions, gear their curriculum toward training a lawyer, though some have special programs that gear the learning experience toward a combination of law and other topics, such as business, science, technology, or public administration.
Many law schools will start out their first year students with subjects such as civil procedure, contracts, criminal law and procedure, constitutional law, property law, legal writing, and tort.
Eventually, in their goal of training a lawyer, the schools will place students in internships, which are used toward academic credits. Others emphasize using the governmental and legal resources of the community for training purposes.
There are many questions involved in preparing for law school, and this article only touches on some of the basics. Again, the best place to start you off on a successful career path in law is with a prelaw advisor, who can assist you in clearing up any matters not addressed here.