LIFE BEFORE LAW SCHOOL

Do I need to take any particular type of courses in order to prepare for law school?

Future lawyers need to focus on developing strong analytical skills. Further, whether in high school or college, it is important to work on developing oral and written communication skills. This means working on writing skills and, depending upon your interests, strengthening your public speaking skills.

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How do I pay for Law School?

Law school is not cheap. Aside from relying upon a parent or relative to pick up the tab, many students will be left to borrow the money to finance their legal education. While loans may provide the only way for some students to obtain a legal education, prospective law students should still research and consider other alternatives. These include scholarships, post-graduate fellowships to payoff loans, e.g., legal aid work, grants, and other contests.

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How do I choose a law school?

Similar to the decision to select a particular college, there are a multitude of factors, e.g., geographic location, specialized degree programs.

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How do I know if a legal career is right for me?

High school students can test their interest in a future legal career by pursuing extra-curricular activities that highlight more of the conventional aspects of being a lawyer. These include debate, teen court, mock trial, and shadowing an attorney.

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What does the application process include?

The law school application process is administered by the Law School Admissions Counsel ("LSAC"). There are essentially four components to your law school admission package (1) Resume; (2) GPA; (3) Personal Statement; (4) Letters of Recommendation;(5) The LSAT.

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LIFE DURING LAW SCHOOL

Are law school grades important?

Each entering class of students is placed in a section. There may be 3 or 4 sections for each entering class depending on the number of students admitted. Typically there are three sections that can consist of about 70 students or so and all the students in each section will be in that particular section for their entire first year of law school (1L).

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How do you distinguish yourself in law school?

Law Review is a scholarly journal that focuses on legal issues and is written by law students and published by a law school. Law review consists of intense writing, research and editing. Some employers seek students that write for their school's law review and therefore is sought after by students. There is one general law review journal for each law school and a student must grade on. In other words, students are selected for law review based on their 1L (first year) grades. However, each law school also has several other specialty journals that students can write for and students do not have to grade on. Instead, law schools will have a writing competition and select students based on their writing samples. These specialty journals are also prestigious and provide students with significant writing experience.

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When do I need to start thinking about what I want to do after law school?

It's never too early to think about what you want to do after law school. As a first year law student (1L), it's a good idea to know what areas of law interest so you can try and get internships in that particular area and see if that is a right fit for you. The sooner you figure out that you do not like something, the more energy you have to focus on what you do like. However, if you do not know what type of law you want to practice, you may want to explore a variety of courses and internships. Also, you will want to start thinking about networking and visiting your career service office to see what opportunities are available. If you are seeking the help of your career service office as a 1L, you should wait till they are done with OCI (On Campus Interviews) so a counselor can devote more time to your questions.

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How do I prepare for the bar exam?

If you plan to practice law in the conventional sense, then you will have to pass a bar exam in the jurisdiction where you want to live and practice. The bar exam is a multi-day exam composed of various parts (state essay questions and multiple choice questions known as the Multistate Bar Examination, MBE) that usually consists of 2 days minimum depending on the state. The first day of the bar exam usually consists of 200 multiple choice questions that tests a law student on Constitutional Law, Contracts...

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Job Search FAQ's

The best way to begin your job search is in your school's career services office. The sole focus these individuals have is finding jobs for you and your classmates, and by cultivating a relationship with your career services staff, you will be sure to get the most out of what they have to offer. The more they know about you, the more tools you will give them to do their job, which is to find you a job.

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LIFE AFTER LAW SCHOOL

What about my post-law school finances?

You can’t know how to get to your destination unless you know where to begin. Taking the time to make a budget helps you to truly understand the current state of your finances, and will prevent you from making decisions that can cause some major headaches! Take the time to do it right the first time, then expend a minimal effort to update your budget annually... or as needed (like when you get that new job with the big salary!).

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What is the 411 on loan repayment?

Your repayment period for student loans will likely begin about six months after graduation. Because repayment is likely to begin soon after you get your bar exam results and while you are still trying to get acclimated to a new job, it is important that you are proactive with regard to your student loans.

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What if I don’t want to practice law in the conventional sense?

Here are just a few careers to consider: Corporate/Private Sector - Work for a company in areas such as management, finance, human resources, regulatory compliance, risk management, and corporate communications. Non-Profit - Manage all aspects of the operation of a nonprofit, including grants, fundraising, and operations. Higher Education - Work as an educator or in administration.

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