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What classes should I take in order to become a lawyer?

As a middle school student what classes should I take in the future to become a lawyer? Should I take AP classes or does it not matter?

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Heather’s Answer

Lorelei it is wonderful that you are thinking about your future and trying to plan accordingly. The great news about law school is that there is no specific major or set of classes that you need to take in order to apply/be accepted into law school. I was a business major, others are forensic chemists and still others are history majors--follow your passion with your studies.

I would encourage you to consider classes that support and challenge your reading, writing and analytical skills. AP course are great, but don't feel the need to overload those course-- being well rounded, having good grades and a sense of internal grit/tenacity are also just as important. (Never stop challenging yourself) I spent time shadowing lawyers that practiced different types of law to better understand what their day to day work life was like. I also asked questions about their undergrad majors and how they decided on their careers.

I wish you much success in all your future endeavors.
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Ron’s Answer

While law school doesn't require any specific class, you will likely be reading a lot in law school and as a lawyer. So any class that will give you more reading and writing practice will be helpful.

AP classes in high school would help with boosting your GPA, assuming you can do well. High school GPA is critical for applying to top law schools.
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Katharine’s Answer

For Middle School students, the top action to take for a successful law career is to build strong study habits. In the United States, law school lasts for 3 years and follows college. I've seen individuals with music or English backgrounds enter the legal field. The most crucial step for you right now is to discover your unique learning style. Best of luck!
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Baljit’s Answer

Hi lorelei,
I would suggest you take English and Social Studies classes. These classes encourage brushing up on your grasp of English. Also in the future try to involve yourself in clubs and extra circular activities that helps with analytical skills. You should also think about volunteering in the community albeit in law.
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Mackenzie’s Answer

To prepare for a career in law and eventually become a lawyer, you can follow a general high school curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking, research, writing, and communication skills. Here are the recommended high school classes to consider:

English and Literature:
Take honors or advanced placement (AP) courses in English to enhance your reading, writing, and analytical skills. Strong writing skills are essential for law school and legal practice.
Social Studies and History:
Courses in history, government, political science, and economics can provide a strong foundation for understanding the legal and political systems. These classes will also help you develop critical thinking and research skills.
Mathematics:
While law doesn't require advanced math skills, taking math courses through high school, such as algebra and statistics, can improve your logical reasoning and problem-solving abilities.
Public Speaking and Debate:
Join your school's debate team or take public speaking courses to improve your oral communication skills. Lawyers often need to argue cases in court and present their arguments persuasively.
Foreign Language:
Learning a foreign language can be valuable, especially if you plan to practice law in a multicultural or international context. Many law schools also value applicants with language skills.
Critical Thinking and Philosophy:
Courses that focus on critical thinking, logic, and philosophy can help you develop analytical skills that are essential for legal reasoning.
Civics and Legal Studies:
If your high school offers courses in civics, constitutional law, or legal studies, consider taking them to gain a basic understanding of the legal system and the principles of law.
Advanced Placement (AP) Courses:
If your high school offers AP courses in subjects such as history, government, or English, consider enrolling in them. These courses can provide college-level coursework and demonstrate your academic rigor to potential colleges.
Extracurricular Activities:
Participate in extracurricular activities that develop leadership, teamwork, and communication skills. Activities such as mock trial, student government, or debate clubs can be particularly relevant for aspiring lawyers.
Legal Internships or Shadowing:
If possible, explore internships or opportunities to shadow lawyers or legal professionals. This can give you firsthand experience in the legal field and help you determine if it's the right career path for you.
Research Skills:
Develop strong research skills, as legal work often involves extensive research and analysis. Courses in library science or research methods can be helpful.
Writing Skills:
Focus on improving your writing skills, as legal documents, contracts, and briefs require precise and persuasive writing. Consider taking advanced writing courses if available.
Ethics and Morality:
Explore courses or discussions related to ethics, morality, and philosophy. Understanding ethical principles is crucial for practicing law ethically and responsibly.
Remember that a well-rounded education is important, and while these high school classes can provide a solid foundation, you'll continue to develop your legal knowledge and skills in college and law school. Be sure to excel academically, engage in extracurricular activities, and seek opportunities to gain practical experience in the legal field as you progress in your educational journey toward becoming a lawyer.
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