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What are the best tips and ways to get started in law?

hello! my name is karyssa and i’m a high school student doing online school. i’m currently in 10th grade and my dream is to become a lawyer. i’d like to waste no time and get started on reaching my goal ASAP! what are the best tips for doing so?

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Kim’s Answer

Karyssa,

Speaking about life in general, you have a lot of years ahead of you to be an adult. I wouldn't recommend rushing through the transition. 18-22 are great ages. Enjoy them. Go zip-lining, or skydiving, or whatever.

What can you start doing now? Acting, public speaking (Toastmasters club, I think they may accept members your age, not sure). Challenging yourself. While the path to law typically involves the degrees Michelle mentioned, if you have a particular interest, such as medical malpractice, you'd want to get acquainted with sciences. And, if you plan on running your own practice, that will require some business skills.

Take a look at the LSAT. That is a test many law schools use as part of the admissions process. Look at the "logic games" portion of the test. Start working on learning how to do those, because, on the test, you won't have time for trial and error answers. That test is 4-5 years away, but, it is worth being familiar with now.

Learn organization and study skills. Be able to set up files on a computer and quickly retrieve them. Hundreds of them. Become proficient with various software currently used in the office. Know how to set up and fix technological equipment. The person with IT skills is much sought after in the office setting! Studying: know when your brain works best, what study techniques work best. Learn to study in a time efficient manner. Diet and exercise. Learn to take care of yourself properly, including hydration and protein. And sleep! Learn how to manage a household independently. Laundry, finances, groceries, assuming you will be on your own at some point.

Most importantly is people. Learn how to interact with others, form study groups, etc. In law school, it is common to form study groups, and do your share to contribute to the group effort. Like Michelle said, we don't know why you are doing on-line schooling, but, it's important to develop F2F social skills.

Law is very interesting, and, there is much to learn. Wishing you success!

Kim
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. karyssa
Thank you comment icon You're welcome! You asked elsewhere about particular classes - Logic, without a doubt!! Normally in the Philosophy Dept. And, as a Massachusetts and (?) by birth, we'd love to have you in Texas!! Kim Igleheart
Thank you comment icon thank you so much! karyssa
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Karyssa !

The best tip that I can give you would be to take it a step at a time, there's no need to rush things, becoming an Attorney doesn't happen overnight or by taking short cuts. If you do not want to take the process which will take nine more years for you since you are almost finished with 10th grade, than perhaps you can look into which other careers you may like that don't take time.

I am not sure why you are doing high school online, if you're being home schooled or doing it online due to a school district accommodation program. That would be very important to know in order to give you sound advice. Regardless, you can start by obtaining a high school diploma and then attending four years at college for a Bachelors Degree. After that you apply to law school in the state that you plan to practice law in. It's not a difficult path and needs to be done carefully because there is a lot to learn.

I am also curious as to why you'd think any part of high school or college would be wasting your time if that's what you're saying. I would advise reading more about what a career in law is like so that you can see if it's really a fit for you. You will really have to love academics if you want to become an attorney.

In undergraduate school, I would suggest majoring in Political Science, Economics or Government. You don't have to minor or double major or take a fast track. You will need public speaking courses and writing courses, too.

There are opportunities to fast track a Law Degree as well as becoming a lawyer without going to law school. But if you want to be taken seriously as a professional and have good credentials, experience and viable contacts to back you up when you apply for work, you will finish high school with good grades and take the seven years it really takes to be the best attorney you can be. You'll also want to be able to pass the Bar Exam the first time. So you can spend some time right now exploring this career further and being true to yourself about your goals.

I hope that this is helpful in considering a career in law and no matter which route you take, I wish you all the best in your education !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

FACTORS TO CONSIDER IF YOU WANT TO BE A LAWYER https://www.liveabout.com/so-you-want-to-become-a-lawyer-2164536
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE DECIDING TO BECOME A LAWYER https://hbr.org/2022/01/what-i-wish-i-had-known-before-becoming-a-lawyer
Thank you comment icon Hello and thank you for your reply! I’m currently doing online school because I was heavily bullied at my public school to the point that it was affecting my ability to get my work done and keep my grades up so I decided online would be best for me. As for high school and college being a “waste” of time that is not at all how I feel and not the message I was trying to get across. I’ve done my research and I’m planning on attending college for 4 years and then moving into law school. What I was really trying to ask is what I can do now to develop my skills to become an attorney later on. Thank you again for your reply! Have a great night! karyssa
Thank you comment icon well-said, as always! Or, as the saying goes, "anything worth doing is worth doing right!" Kim Igleheart
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, Kim ! Have an awesome day ! Michelle M.
Thank you comment icon To Karyssa - Thank you for the extra information. I am glad to know of your plans for after high school also. I wish you all the best. Michelle M.
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Josefa’s Answer

Hi Karyssa, I share in your passion for the study of law! However, there's a whole lot of ground to cover between now and having the title "Esquire" (Esq.) after your name. All of the advice you have been given in this feed is very important to follow up on and of course follow up with your HS counsellor as well. One point of note given earlier was to be sure and develop strong interpersonal communication skills (be face to face with people and public speaking). Legal work require strong written skill sets and citation (APA, MLA, etc.) get to know how to do this well from now (it's important to your book reports while in HS and absolutely essential in the study of law–often referred to as BlueBooking). Aside from writing, philosophy and Political science are must having courses in this area. Another area of importance to look at is where do you plan to study at college? I highly recommend strong Liberal Arts colleges, they will offer you a strong selection of humanities and economic studies. Also, if Constitutional Law and or Government/Politics are areas of interest then doing your undergraduate or JD studies in Washington, D.C. may be an excellent choice! If there are other areas of law that interest you, always best to do your JD in the state you plan to practice. Law is not monolithic, like the societies it governs diversity is key!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your reply! As for college i’d like to go to Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas for their cheer team, but I am open to looking at other options. Do you have a top 3 list of colleges? What courses should I take in college to be most successful in law school? Also what is your best advice on how to get into a law school? karyssa
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Carlos’s Answer

Depending on your grades, you could potentially take college courses while in high school, specifically during 11th and 12th grade. In Florida, this program is called dual enrollment. It is possible to graduate from high school with a two-year college degree, which would leave you with only two years needed for a bachelor's degree. Most law schools require a four-year bachelor's degree before admission. By taking the dual enrollment route, you would definitely be ahead. Alternatively, you can graduate from high school, pursue a traditional four-year degree, and then attend law school, which typically lasts three years. Some law schools also offer accelerated JD programs, such as two-year JD programs and 3+3 JD programs, catering to different student needs and goals. I have provided a link to an article that provides more information on this topic below.

I hope this information helps. Thank you!

https://www.joinleland.com/library/a/the-top-10-accelerated-jd-programs
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