Going to Law School
Information provided by Kaptest.com
So you think that law school is the right choice for you? Good. Now let's make sure that your reasons are solid and weatherproof: The first year of law school is not for fair-weather enthusiasts. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to feel overwhelmed and thoroughly drenched in self-doubt. With an increasingly competitive job market, even first-year law students aren't immune from the pressure of the placement process. And at many schools there is often the "case method" of teaching that could be another strain.
In case method classes, the professor's role is to provoke students into a higher level of thinking. You will certainly be challenged on a number of levels, so let's "test drive" your reasons for choosing the law profession. We'll start on the positive side with a few sample "good" reasons.
It is true, a law degree is perhaps the most versatile professional degree. Law might well be the field for you if you:
- Are not entirely sure of your career dream
- Feel more than half-certain that you will change "careers" at some point in the future
- Enjoy thinking analytically
- Enjoy coming up with creative solutions to complex problems
- Are inspired by intellectual challenges
Lawyers can function in the business world, whereas MBA's cannot function in a legal position. And although lawyers cannot be doctors, neither are they as closely held to their "field" as are MD's. A law degree gives you almost unparalleled mobility in your career - lawyers run movie studios, manage baseball teams, hold political office, serve in the foreign service, run Fortune 500 companies, and head a wide range of legal service organizations.
Although the life of an attorney is not really like that portrayed on some television series, there are aspects of lawyering that can be a great deal of fun. Tasks such as preparing for a trial, defending a client, prosecuting an accused criminal, or putting together a business deal can give you a rush of adrenaline. The interpretation of existing law can be both intellectually challenging and exciting in itself as you participate in the continuing evolution our legal system.
Many law school applicants who are already established in careers as news reporters, businesspeople, or even doctors, have found that they need a law degree in order to be more effective or influential in their field. Doctors worry about malpractice matters or become intrigued with the legal implications of prolonging life. Reporters develop urges to become part of the solution to the widespread social problems they have been chronicling for years. Businesspeople feel that a background in law will enable them to negotiate the deals they encounter in their jobs more effectively.
Although there are very few jobs that remain secure in today's economy, the fundamental role that legal systems play in our increasing global working world is striking. Certainly a law degree has become a necessary prerequisite for a great many jobs that could have been done without legal expertise 20 years ago. Your training and skills can allow you to stay employed and prepare you for a variety of situations.
You may have other, personal reasons for choosing law school. Often, people have experienced first hand the power of a training in law through involvement in lawsuits, divorces, adoption procedures, or the settlement of an estate. Whatever your particular reasons for wanting to obtain a law degree, be sure you're clear about why you want to travel down this road, and don't lose sight of your personal investment in the process.
Sound exciting so far? If you enjoy thinking, writing, solving problems, negotiating compromises, and advocating on behalf of people or causes, then law school will be a good fit for you. If you'd rather have someone else tell you how to solve a problem or how to think about a dilemma, then you might find that law is not the profession for you. Think seriously about the "fit;" be honest with yourself as you contemplate your future career. Be sure that you have chosen the right destination before you begin planning your trip.
Law School Admission Tips
The most important thing to do when applying to law school is to determine the admissions requirements for the programs to which you are applying. Although, expectations may vary from program to program, a few admissions requirements are common to most law school admissions offices, including:
- Undergraduate GPA
- LSAT scores
- Letters of Recommendation
- Personal Statement
Photocopy all applications and keep a comprehensive file on each school that records all of your interactions with that school in it.
Follow all rules set forth by the application. If you have questions or are tempted to "break a rule," be sure to call the admissions office and ask for advice.
Put your name and identification number on any additional pages.
Make certain the presentation of your application is both neat and professional looking.
Have someone proofread your essay(s) and application. A single mistake can cast doubt on your application.
Learn more about law school admissions at www.kaptest.com/law.
Learn about Kaplan's LSAT programs at www.kaptest.com/lsat.