During my time on IG believe it or not the main source of my DMs come from people considering going to law school. The general gist of my DMs is typically something asking me what my main advice is I have for people in their position. Since I have literally spend countless hours DMing, calling and texting people asking me this I have decided to summarize my thoughts on the matter below. Good luck during your process!!
FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT STARTED LAW SCHOOL
- College Preparation. What major should I choose? Most law schools to my knowledge do not require a specific major to gain entry. That being said my best advice is to major in something that will give you practical skills as a lawyer and/or will ensure that you have a high GPA. Practical skills may be obtained in majors/classes such as: English (reading and writing), public speaking (litigation), pre law and others. Having a high GPA will give you access to higher ranked schools and more scholarship money.
- LSAT Prep. PLEASE TAKE THE LSAT SERIOUSLY!! The LSAT, though I personally don’t think it has anything to do with being a lawyer, can seriously impact the schools you are admitted to and the scholarship money that you receive. This test can seriously effect the next ten or more years of your life.
- Preview with a Program. Consider doing a program that can give you the law school feel without going to law school to confirm that this is what you want to do with your life. My law school, FSU, has a FREE (tuition/room and board/etc) program that does just that entitled Summer for Undergraduates. The link to apply and learn more: http://www.law.fsu.edu/academics/summer-for-undergraduates.
- Network. You will hear this word over and over and over again. Start as early as you can and do this as much as you can. Hopefully while networking you will find quality mentors who will stick by you during law school and beyond.
- Geography. There is an advantage to going to a law school in the state where you want to practice, so you may want to consider this while picking a law school.
- Law School Debt. From my observations the job market is generally tough regardless of the school you go to (obviously it is somewhat easier for people in Tier 1 as opposed to Tier 4) so unless you can attend a Tier 1 school you may want to consider going to a lower tier school if you can get a substantial scholarship. If you don’t get financial aid you will likely be sure to end up with a large amount of loans.
- Specializations. Along with location also pay attention to a school's specializations. A lower rank school may have an outstanding program in your desired area of law.
Alumni Networks. This ties in closely with Geography, because most schools’ alumni are in the same geographic region as the school itself. But it can make a real difference in choosing a law school, because sometimes an alumni network is your ticket to future employment. Say, for example, you’re set on practicing law in New York someday. There are several law schools there, ranging from the first to the fourth tier. Graduates of the first tier school usually go on to lucrative offers in major cities around the country, and relatively few of them stay in New York; the fourth tier school, on the other hand, has a large student body and most of its many graduates remain in New York, creating a vast number of possible contacts for you as you head into the job market. In that case, the fourth tier school might well be the better choice for you.