What made you want to become a lawyer?
I decided to become a lawyer when my wife graduated from a Doctor of Pharmacy program in Tallahassee, Florida. At the time I was teaching at the community college and working in circulation at the county public library. My original plan, when I had earned my master's degree, was to go abroad and teach, as I had already done in Brazil and Costa Rica as an undergraduate. Then, I met my wife and got "grounded." She came to the U.S. from China and wanted to stay in the U.S. I taught for a number of years as an adjunct professor at the university, colleges and various private schools.
We, my wife and I, determined that with my skill set I was well suited for a career in law: love reading and writing, good public speaker, above average intelligence, like to help people, etc. I took the LSAT, applied to law school and got accepted. The rest, is another story.
Many of my classmates became lawyers so they could earn a lot of money. That was not my primary motivation. As a professional international educator I had been helping people meet their own personal goals for many years. I decided that, as a lawyer, I could help more people with more critical matters than their language skills. And I have. It can be very rewarding work in other ways than monetarily.
If you do decide to pursue a career in the law, with determination and a lot of hard work, you can do it.
Congratulations to you for thinking about how you can make an important impact on the world, by saving our forests and helping families. Those two goals will go hand in hand in future generations. Here are some of the most important skills to develop now that will help you become a lawyer: a love of reading, writing, asking questions, and listening to what other people are saying. These skills will help you in any field you may decide to pursue, but being a good, empathetic listener, and speaking up to ask questions of teachers, friends, family members and new people you meet will teach you to respect and evaluate others' arguments, stand up for what you know to be right, and get people to share what is important to them. To be a good environmental lawyer, it will be important to have a strong background in natural sciences, so in college you might consider majoring in biology, chemistry, geology, ecology or similar fields. Adding in some sociology and psychology classes will better help you understand what motivates people and gets them to change behaviors. To answer your specific question: I became a lawyer to help people who had small businesses solve their disputes quickly, so they could get back to their main business - whatever it was. I had been involved in several family owned businesses after college, and I was frustrated by the lawyers we had to work with to solve problems. So I went to law school to help others. And it was a very satisfying career!
I became a lawyer because I wanted to help people with the problems that they had, especially people who were having problems with big companies, because big companies had all the money and the little people like my family didn't have a lot of money. I took college courses that I thought would help me with that for my undergraduate degree - pretty much math and English. Math teaches you analytical skills and English gives you a good command of the written and spoken word and you will use that a lot in writing briefs, writing letters to your clients and things like that.
Basically you should also take some courses that you will enjoy too - to make sure that you are well-rounded. Also keep in mind that you need to make sure that you do things that will keep you in good health - make sure you do some activities that are energizing to you - that keeps your mind and body both sharp.
I became an attorney because I wanted to help people. Law can be complicated and scary to many people. If you understand your area of expertise then you can really help people who don't know what to do and who don't understand the complicated laws. Congratulations on looking at family law and environmental law. I wish you the best future.
Math is a great preparation for being a lawyer -- you learn to solve problems with symbols, which lawyers do all day long.
Science, especially biology and chemistry, is used in environmental law a lot.
Chess is good practice for a lawyer in thinking ahead.
And practice your public speaking anytime yu get the chance....