Studying to be a lawyer is not the same as studying to be an engineer or a doctor. Lawyers are professional people who conduct negotiations, make legal arguments and take care of business. Lawyers are involved in different types of businesses such as in real estate, corporate law, labor law, criminal law, family law and environmental law. As you may have noticed, there are many similarities between lawyers and engineers. They both conduct business, provide legal services and manage their day-to-day operations. So if you want to be a lawyer, you must be ready to do these things:
Learn about the different types of law. Some of the most common subjects you will study include civil law, corporate law, labor law, criminal law, family law, real estate and environmental law. When you have determined that law is for you (if you’re not sure read Is law for me? ), then you should enroll for an LLM degree that usually takes 4 years to complete. LLM candidates will be able to specialize in any area of law.
Read law journals. Law magazines and legal journals offer the latest up-to-date legal information and they contain many articles that can help you with your future studies. You can even ask your university’s law school for a list of high quality journals to use as reference while you’re studying.
Join law review associations. There are many law review organizations in the US. You can easily find one by checking your local university library or the American Bar Association’s website. These organizations are particularly helpful for law students because they provide a platform for law students to present their research work. At the same time, these publications are a great venue for articles that law students can submit for publication.
Subscribe to law review magazine. Like law journals, law review magazine offers informative and systematic legal material. Most law review magazine also has an online portal where law students can register for online publications and submit articles. Review magazines are available from many publishers including Oxford University Press, Elsevier and University of Chicago Press.
Attend law review conferences. Law review conferences allow you to present original research papers on a topic. At conferences, you’ll be able to meet with university attorneys and legal professionals and discuss your work. Attending conferences is a good way to develop your speaking skills, get exposure to new ideas and develop a network of like-minded people.
Join a law review editorial board. Many law review organizations require law students to serve as a full-time editor for a period of one or two years after law school graduation. If you’re interested in pursuing such an endeavor, you may want to look into becoming an editorial board member for a law journal.
Teach students how to write an essay. Harvard law review has plenty of essay examples, as well as several student editors who are willing to help you improve your writing skills. You can tap your creativity by collaborating with a student editor who has experience in your field. You’ll have lots of practice for your essays once you start teaching students how to write essays. In the meantime, working with student editors will give you valuable practice for your future career.
Become a staff writer for a student-run law review magazine. Magazines are a great source of knowledge for law students. When you become a staff writer for a student-run law review magazine, you can develop important relationships that might otherwise be hard to find outside of law school. As a staff writer, you’ll be an asset to the editorial team and may even have opportunities to write for the student magazine.
Get your first law review position working for a law firm. Most law firms have a need for legal secretaries, paralegals and receptionists. If you have experience in these fields, you should be able to find a job in a law firm. Keep in mind that most editorial staff jobs don’t involve writing but doing research. To advance in your career, you’ll likely have to do extensive research.
Become an editor for an international law journal. International law journals are available all over the world and serve as an academic directory of law journals. An international law journal can expand your opportunities because many scholars have chosen to publish their work in an international law journal. Because an international law journal is published by scholars from all over the world, it tends to be very important research oriented.