Tips For Potential Law Students.

Serious students interested in pursuing a degree in law will start planning their educational pathways in their freshman year. This is a must if you want to be competitive in graduate and law school applications and/or have the best chances for a future in law.  Every student needs to know how to navigate their undergraduate studies, and understand what steps to take after, to land the legal job of their dreams. 

Not all law students will enter the legal field as courtroom lawyers. Many will seek other jobs in fields like criminal justice, private counseling, politics, academia, and many others. The legal field is rich and fruitful, and the future for prospective legal studies majors is bright. Here are some tips and considerations for any student interested in pursuing a law degree:

1. Maintaining a high GPA

Student interested in applying to graduate schools and law schools will be enter a very competitive pool of applicants. One of the best ways to start preparing for law school is by maintaining a high grade point average. That means you have to do well in every class not just your major. 

2. Choosing an undergraduate major for your career path

Students interested in law careers have a many options when it comes to choosing an undergraduate major. That makes deciding on the best pre law majors a little easier. Students should decide on the which field of law they would like to work and try to pick the best fit. If you are interested in becoming a contract lawyer you may want to pursue an undergraduate degree in business. If your interested in working within the political system you might want a political science degree, and so on.

Some undergraduate degrees do seem to have a slight advantage when applying to graduate law schools. Undergraduate degrees with the best chance of graduate acceptance are: Philosophy, Political Science, History, English, and Economics. If you are interested in entering the legal field directly out of college students should consider a degree in criminal justice. 

This degree can qualify students for a wide array of legal jobs. A leading voice for PA criminal justice colleges, writes, “Whether you’re interested in pursuing and apprehending white collar criminals, performing forensic testing in a laboratory setting, investigating crime scenes, or guarding our nation’s borders, criminal justice provides a variety of career opportunities for just about every interest, taste, and personality. In-demand criminal justice careers are exciting, rewarding, and increasingly available in today’s unsteady job market.” 

3. Working in Internships

This is one of the most crucial steps for every college student. Internships look really good on CVs and resumes. They give the student real working experience in their chosen field and helps them start a network of professionals who may hire them after graduation. 

Doing very well in an internship can also help students secure valuable references. Any student applying to graduate school, or entering the work force will have to have solid references from professionals within your field. Internships often lead to actual jobs later, and having a job when you graduate is a big plus.

4. Build strong relationships with professors

It’s important to build strong relationships with your professors. You’ll need written letters of recommendation from your professors, so make sure you maintain a good working relationship with them. A good reference from a professor can go a lot further for grad school than some other types of references. 

Graduate schools want to know what you’re like to work with as a student. Professors are the only people qualified to speak for your student/teacher relationship. Professors often have inside knowledge of grants and scholarships and every college student needs more money.

5. Participating in extracurricular activities

The legal field is extremely competitive. Students need to explore every option that may give them an edge. Participating in extracurricular activities can look really good on your application and/or resume. Be careful not all activities are the equal.

When considering what types of extracurricular activities to join remember its about quality not quantity. You want to join groups relevant to your field of interest. Look for the biggest and most established groups to join. Think of large non-profits and/or established foundations. It looks a lot better to have worked for someone like the Habitat for Humanity than a small five person group on campus. 

Don’t wait for your senior year. Start participating early in your college career. Graduate schools and employers are looking for an experienced candidate, not for someone that padded their resume at the last second. 

6. Study For the GRE and LSAT 

These are big demanding tests that every prospective graduate student must take. Again the law field is very competitive. High marks on these two test are vital to graduate school acceptance. There are many forums available to help students prepare for the GRE and LSAT. Start early. be prepared, and take the practice tests. 

7. Manage your social media profile

Many students do not realize the importance of a keeping good clean social media profile. Many graduate schools take into account social media profiles. Some schools feel that if a student displays unhealthy, devious, or bad behavior in their private lives, they may bring that behavior into their school lives. Some graduate schools even hire outside firms to search and report on potential candidate’s social profiles. So take down any questionable posts, and keep it clean.