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Is there anything that helped you in college prepare for becoming a lawyer?

I am a soon to be freshman in college and I want to pursue the career of a lawyer. However, I am scared because I am not sure exactally what I should study when I get to college. #lawyer #judge #women-in-law


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Teresa’s Answer

Hi!


I am a lawyer. I'd like to share with you how I became a lawyer. Law school requires critical thinking, analysis, and reading comprehension skills so I took courses in college that I believed would help me improve these skills. There are also some colleges that provide pre-law courses that can help you improve these skills. Law school admissions will look at primarily your LSAT scores, your undergraduate grades, and your extracurricular activities. I studied hard in college, served in leadership positions in various extracurricular activities, and prepared for the LSAT by enrolling in an LSAT prep course. When I was preparing my undergraduate and law school applications, I had several peers and mentors review and critique my applications.


Being a lawyer has been a rewarding experience for me and I love being able to help people. I hope this information is helpful to you! Good luck and study hard!


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Arielle’s Answer

Please don't be scared! Judging by myself, my former law school classmates, and my current colleagues, there is no magic formula for what to study in college to get in to law school or to be a good lawyer. For instance, I majored in film and economics, which is completely unrelated. A lot of people majored in political science, but I recommend just doing that if that is of interest to you.


If there is a specific type of law that interests you, you could also take classes accordingly. For instance, if you are interested in criminal law, you could take classes on the criminal justice system. Or if you are interested in technology law, you could major in an applicable science. Some colleges also have a legal studies minor or just legal studies classes that you may want to try to see if they are of interest to you. Public speaking or negotiation-type courses, if they have them, can always be a help as well. Same with any writing courses, as you will often do a lot of writing as an attorney.


Getting into a good law school can be competitive, so my best advice is to work hard in college to get the best grades possible. Also, I recommend getting involved in extra curricular activities. Again, doesn't have to be anything in particular. Just getting involved in activities that interest you and it will make you a more well-rounded applicant.


Best of luck!


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Nora’s Answer

Hello! I majored in political science and Spanish in college and I think as long as you get a good well-rounded education in college you should be well prepared to go to law school. I've always been supportive of following a number of different interests as a undergraduate which helps you to determine what you want to do in the future. Also, I took 4 years off between college and law school which helped me feel confident that I truly did want to go to law school.


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Kelly’s Answer

Hi - I would agree with the above. But I'd also add that college can teach you how to study and how to organize your time. That becomes really important once you get to law school, and also for taking the bar. Many colleges offer small seminars, where much of the class time is taken up with discussion. I found that's really important in teaching critical thinking and in teaching you how to read through an issue and defend your position.


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Richard’s Answer

Just like in my medical school classes, my wife (an attorney) had a huge variety of people in her law school class. This makes sense because there are so many different kinds of law. My wife majored in history because she found it interesting. She found all of the writing required in history came in handy during law school. In sum, I would focus on classes with a lot of reading and writing, but technically, you can major in anything to get into law school.

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Cori’s Answer

My advice for anyone considering becoming a lawyer is to work on perfecting your reading comprehension and writing skills. Unlike what you see on tv, most of the time lawyers aren't arguing very persuasive arguments in front of the Supreme Court or getting a defendant to admit guilt on the witness stand. Instead, most lawyers are tucked away in their office for many hours of the day reading case law and writing briefs. In fact, the majority of cases are won based on well written briefs then they are on oral arguments. The importance of reading and writing becomes a harsh reality during the first year in law school, for which many aren't prepared. You will have a competitive advantage in this career if you prepare yourself now during your undergraduate studies.

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