3 answers

What is it like being a lawyer and what school things do you need to learn

Asked Quincy, Florida

It would be helpful to know subjects and tests and test scores. #lawyer #testing #college-admissions

3 answers

JENNA’s Answer

Updated Dallas, Texas

Being a lawyer is what you make of it. I really enjoy working with my client base, solving problems and creating relationships, so that makes up for the clients that you can't ever satisfy or some of the more mundane tasks. In the United States, you will need a four year undergraduate degree with good grades, and then you need to graduate from an accredited law school and take and pass the bar before you can practice. Good grades are important, but there isn't an exact score you should look for, the criteria changes all the time. The important thing is to learn to think and reason like a lawyer. Even if your grades aren't the most amazing, you can still have a good legal career. Focus on exploring your interests, and meet with your school career counselor to help you decide what classes to take to help you reach your goals. As you learn what areas you want to study, that will help you decide what classes to sign up for in college and in law school. Good luck!

Thanks Jenna. I really appreciate what you have said. Hopefully this information will be useful.I will continue to work my hardest every day and I hope I can get into a good college. One more question. Is there any law schools that stand out to you? If so, let me know. Thanks again.

Kim’s Answer

Updated San Antonio, Texas

Hi Thomas!

There are many different types of lawyers. But, to begin covering the basics, I encourage you to work on developing your writing skills, to include truly learning grammar. I have seen many cases about the interpretation of a law, where the discussion revolves around the parts of speech and the sentence structure, and I am totally lost! You also want to work on analytical thinking skills. Colleges offer a course called "logic." You should take it. Also work on public speaking and debate. Even if you never take a case to trial, you will still have moments where you are trying to settle a case with opposing counsel or negotiate a settlement.

I encourage you to dabble in all subjects while in high school, so you at least have a basic familiarity with them. Law draws from all fields. For example, a traffic accident might hinge on braking distance for a vehicle. You have to look at the type of road surface, weather, visibility, friction, condition of the car, and condition of the driver - lots of science! Or perhaps you need to look at a company's financial records - you would want some background in principles of accounting. While big law firms would hire consultants for some of this, there are many smaller firms who cannot afford to hire consultants. At the very least, you would want to know whether or not there was possibly something amiss - so you only hire a consultant if there is really a need for one!

Your college grades will be important. What subjects you take will be less important, as lawyers come from all backgrounds. I encourage you to see if the college has a pre-law program, and join it. Possibly get involved in student government. Try to take some law classes - criminal law, business law, constitutional law are all usually offered in college. Try to find ones that have demanding professors, so you get a better feel of what awaits you in law school.

Also, look at the LSAT. That is the test for law school admissions. It is hard. Look at the logic games. If you are serious about law school, you will need to learn to master the logic questions. There are programs that prepare you for that test - classes you can take, probably outside of college, for a fee.

Best of luck to you!

Fatima’s Answer

Being a lawyer involves a lot of researching, reading and writing. For example, people approach us with situations they face. As lawyers, we have to spend a lot of time reading about and researching the law to understand how it applies to the specific situation and facts faced by that person. After that, we may have to write about it. Some examples of this are filing a document to persuade a judge of your client's position; giving our client a summary about the consequences and risks of moving forward with a plan; or editing a contract in favor of your client. https://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/pre_law/ https://abovethelaw.com/2018/09/7-essential-skills-every-1l-must-develop-asap/

Fatima recommends the following next steps:

  • Learn persuasive writing skills.
  • Learn about negotiation.
  • Learn about ethics - lawyers are held to ethical codes. If they don't adhere to these, they can lose their license.
  • Soft skills - you have to listen to your clients and solve their problems. Make sure you learn how to build relationships to gain their trust to be a valued advisor.