Preparing to Start Your Legal Career

Updated on November 24, 2019

All your life you’ve been wanting to become a lawyer. You’re confident you have the skills necessary to excel in this field and make a name for yourself.

If you’re about to start law school or thinking of getting into one, you should prepare yourself for the school load and stress. The road ahead is tough, but will be worth it in the end.

To prepare for your journey, here are some tips that may help you manage the tremendous course load you are about to face. Read more: LibertyBell Law civil attorneys in Los Angeles.

Practice your reading comprehension skills 

You’ll be studying tons of court cases and do a lot of reading. And we mean a lot! Not just reading them, you’ll need to understand each case and be able to come up with your own arguments. Law school is not college where you’ll just do some reading and then wait for the finals. It’s much more complex than that.

Practice your reading speed, comprehension, and problem-solving abilities. More importantly, you need to develop a smart strategy for studying. You’ll be having sleepless nights that could take a toll on your mental and physical health if you won’t approach law school with a good plan.

Improve your writing and organizational skills

Studying law means you’ll be crafting essays and building arguments. Writing tests your ability to gather information, organize your findings, and present them in a structured way. Say goodbye to your cramming skills as you’ll need to free some time to read a large chunk of data to prepare for written and oral arguments. Make writing a habit and brush up on this skill by enrolling in a pre-law writing course.

Create a study plan

As we mentioned earlier, you’ll need a good study plan. Law school will demand much of your time, as much as 40 hours per week. That’s equivalent to holding a full-time job.

First, practice a solid note-taking habit. You’ll be dealing with mountains of reading materials and you can’t remember everything on them. But having good note-taking skills and organizing information would help you remember the most important points.

Two, create a schedule and find time to have breaks from everything. You’ll need to recharge your mind and build energy. So taking weekends off to do something else, or doing some traveling and relaxation would prevent a burnout.

Three, join study groups. You’ll need people you can throw ideas with and help you in areas of the law you are not familiar with. Usually how it works is each member of the study group will have specialization so you can all help each other out.

Take your time to decide

There is no age limit to going to law school, so you can take your time if you feel you’re not ready yet. You can start a job to gain experience and a steady income. Or get some pre-law courses to build your knowledge base and confidence.

For example, Illinois offersparalegal degreesthat can help get you started. As aparalegal, your duties would include assisting in trials, preparing notes, researching, and a lot of administrative work. Compared to law school, the requirements are more flexible. If you’ve finished a bachelor’s degree, a certificate program is good enough. If you need more experience, an Associate’s degree can take two years to complete.

On the job, you can expect a lot of the stress from the legal field of work. You’ll be working in a law office, which is a good experience to see what may lie ahead. Choosing this route means you’ll get to see what life as a lawyer can feel like. Your employer may even allow you to go to law school while working for the firm. That way, you’ll have all the resources you need to succeed.

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