RE: College Major - I don't think college major matters much when applying for schools unless you are applying for a specialty program. If you know you'd like to focus on international human rights, spend time in undergrad taking courses on social geography and history. If you think you might want to be a patent attorney, major in engineering. If you think you'd like to practice in the tech world, consider majoring in computer science or a related field. I personally think your college major should be something you're passionate about and related to a field you might want to practice in, rather than pre-law.
RE: Taking the LSATs - consider taking some philosophy and/or logic classes in college. The LSATs test a particular way of thinking, so experience with pushing yourself to think analytically and work on your logic experience would be helpful.
RE: Choosing a law school - focus on both specialties (e.g. a strong environmental program if you're interested in environmental law or a strong judicial clerkship program if you're interested in practicing in a courtroom setting) and location (where you might want to end up) when looking at schools. Certain schools may have requirements about whether you can seek employment your first year, or attend part time, so consider your lifestyle while attending.
Hi, I am glad you are considering law school. For me, the most difficult part of law school was finding a co-signer for my student loans and then actually paying off my student loans. Law school is extremely expensive and you are not allowed to work part-time during the first year.
The second most difficult thing for me has been to find time to create and build positive relationships. During the last 2 years of law school, I was working 20 hours a week, studying and looking for jobs. I did not have time for my family and friends.
To prepare for the sacrifices that choosing law as an occupation involves, I would recommend the following
Alexandra recommends the following next steps:
Although I cannot attest from experience to the most difficult aspect of law school or becoming a lawyer, I have always had an interest in law myself. I was the VP of law club at my college in which our law professor explained how the LSAT requires a different way of thinking. I found this to be true when completing practice LSAT questions. You have to take a different logic approach to answering the questions. I would suggest you attempt completing some practice LSAT to gain a bit of exposure.
Law school can be very challenging academically, as many law schools don't just aim to teach substantive law, but more a way of approaching and analyzing problems and situations. That may be something that you haven't had much exposure to before law school, so it can take a while to become accustomed to that approach.
From my own experience and from observing many of my lawyer friends, the people who seem to enjoy their careers as lawyers the most had a pretty clear vision of why they wanted to go to law school and what they wanted to do with their degree. Reasons for becoming a lawyer can vary widely, from protecting the environment to helping companies limit legal risk to pursuing social justice. If you have a reasonably good idea of why you want to go to law school/become a lawyer, that can help structure your law school experience so that you enjoy it and get the most benefit from it.
I have been working in the legal field for almost 9 years now and I am currently attending law school part-time. If you can, I think it's incredibly important to work at a law firm for at least a few months before taking the next step and committing to law school so you have real life experience . I also think it is valuable to a lot of schools that you have made this decision knowing at least a little bit what it is like after law school since passing the bar and being a practicing lawyer are important to their statistics (plus can help with a personal statement!).
Like Rachael said, the LSAT is its own sort of test and I do encourage you to take as many practice exams as you can, but also keep in mind that it has nothing to really to do with law school or being a lawyer, other than both require strong reading. logic, and writing skills. I would also recommend thinking about what type of law your are interested in and trying to find an opportunity within that field. It can be completely different from what you thought it would be or it could completely validate that it is the field for you. Plus there are people in law school who try to do a little bit of everything and end up feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about what type of law they want to practice. Law school is hard work and a lot of reading, as someone who naturally did well in my high school and college classes, it was an adjustment that it is really like a second job (or a job if you aren't working :D)
If you have any questions, please let me know! Best of luck!
Jenny recommends the following next steps:
For me, the most challenging part of law school was adjusting to the fact that a single exam would decide my grade for the entire year, along with the grading curve that accompanies it. Basically, in many classes, especially during your first year, your final exam performance is the main factor in determining your grade. Furthermore, only a specific percentage of students can receive A's, B's, and so on. Initially, this might lead to a lot of worry and tension. However, as the year progresses, you'll discover that your professor has the authority to raise your grade based on factors like your daily class performance, attendance, and more.
Consequently, being a hardworking student can help you earn an excellent grade, not just relying on your final exam performance.