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Does law school do a good job in showing a little bit of each field?

I would love to be a medical lawyer but I want to know if law school would explain to me a little more about what the field entails. #law #lawyer #attorney


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Ian’s Answer

I went to law school and practiced for a number of years before leaving the practice of law. The majority of the classes in the first 2 years of law school are required courses so you won't likely have much ability to try to specialize the first 2 years, depending on the school. I would recommend finding a part time job or internship during the first 2 years to see if that is the area you want to go into. It is also a good idea to find schools that offer elective courses in your preferred field. I would say for the most part, law school teaches law theory as opposed to practical information. Most real life law practice is taught in your early jobs, not law school itself. I hope that helps.

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Lily’s Answer

There are core classes that most law schools require in your first year and some that are recommended to complete prior to graduation. Most students take the core classes, and also take the classes that will help them prepare for their bar exam in the state they intend to take the bar in. With that said, many schools now offer more classes that provide insight to the practice of law, such as contract drafting classes and IP law. Also, there are clinics that some schools have that give the law students an opportunity to see what it's like to litigate a class. For example, at my alma mater, Cornell, has a Death Penalty Project that gives the students a chance to represent capital defendants at trial and other stages of the appeals process. So, when you are looking for a law school, also look at their syllabus and what clinics they have to offer.

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Terry’s Answer

Unfortunately, most law schools don't do a great job exposing students to a broad range of specialties. A lot of the curriculum consists of foundational classes like Torts, Contracts, Constitutional Law, Evidence, etc. There is greater flexibility in the second or third years to pick electives and clinics that might be more useful in exploring particular practice areas. But as some of the other commenters noted, summer internships or in-school externships are probably the best way to get exposure to a particular specialty.

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Richard’s Answer

I've learned that there are many areas of law, and you can choose the type of field based on your strengths and personality. If you like to speak in front of people, you can be a litigator. If you like to write, you can write appeals. Try to pin point your goals. For instance, what is important to you: Do you want to make money or help people who can't afford a lawyer?

My wife is an attorney. Her first year or two of law school was mostly required classes, but you do get some choice that last year. She spent her summers doing internships in areas she thought she might be interested in doing.

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Terry’s Answer

Unfortunately, most law schools don't do a great job exposing students to a broad range of specialties. A lot of the curriculum consists of foundational classes like Torts, Contracts, Constitutional Law, Evidence, etc. There is greater flexibility in the second or third years to pick electives and clinics that might be more useful in exploring particular practice areas. But as some of the other commenters noted, summer internships or in-school externships are probably the best way to get exposure to a particular specialty.

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Richard’s Answer

I've learned that there are many areas of law, and you can choose the type of field based on your strengths and personality. If you like to speak in front of people, you can be a litigator. If you like to write, you can write appeals. Try to pin point your goals. For instance, what is important to you: Do you want to make money or help people who can't afford a lawyer?

My wife is an attorney. Her first year or two of law school was mostly required classes, but you do get some choice that last year. She spent her summers doing internships in areas she thought she might be interested in doing.

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Chase’s Answer

I went to law school and for the first two years, you are normally taking the required courses. However, throughout some of your 2L year and in your 3L year, you can take elective courses. I also agree that law school does not do a good job in exposing students to different careers and specialities in the law. However, they do offer multiple externships to help students gain experience in different areas of law. I would encourage you to seek out externships and internships in areas that interest you in order to gain insight into that particular speciality.

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Diali E.’s Answer

Medical Lawyer, eh? That sounds very interesting. Although I am not a lawyer, I worked with lawyers when I was a law enforcement officer. My biggest suggestion would be to shadow a medical lawyer, if possible. And not just one day but for several. Maybe a day in the office, a day in court, a day at the hospital interviewing a patient, etc. You can probably make up a form with questions that you can mail to medical lawyers and email blast it out. You'd probably get a 25% response, which is better than none. You may start with the idea of wanting to be a medical lawyer and realize you wan to be a corporate lawyer... or change your mind altogether, like a friend of mine did, who later became a Dean of a private school. I actually wanted to become a lawyer, but only if I would be able to work with the Innocence Project. It was a hard decision to make, but I don't regret not going. However, I commend your desire to want to do it and I hope you do your homework. It will be expensive but rewarding. Best of luck to you!

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Ian’s Answer

I went to law school and practiced for a number of years before leaving the practice of law. The majority of the classes in the first 2 years of law school are required courses so you won't likely have much ability to try to specialize the first 2 years, depending on the school. I would recommend finding a part time job or internship during the first 2 years to see if that is the area you want to go into. It is also a good idea to find schools that offer elective courses in your preferred field. I would say for the most part, law school teaches law theory as opposed to practical information. Most real life law practice is taught in your early jobs, not law school itself. I hope that helps.

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