5 Ways to Jumpstart Your Law Career
The legal field is competitive and demanding. If you are interested in seeking a career within this field, it’s important to prepare yourself the best you can. Preparation for a career in the law typically requires hard work, a legal education, and extensive legal knowledge. As long as you take the proper steps in jumpstarting your law career, you are sure to have a promising and rewarding legal experience.
1. Get an Education
Whether you want to become an attorney, court reporter, or paralegal, every legal career typically begins with an education. The best way to begin your legal education is by attending an undergraduate university. Most undergraduate programs provide standard legal courses and can help students develop a basic framework of legal knowledge.
Some law firms may take undergraduate students or recent graduates as an intern, which will help provide an education on what it’s like to actually work in a firm. However, for those who want to pursue a legal career after graduating, it’s important to look into the education prerequisites for your desired position. For example, for anyone who wants to become an attorney, it is necessary to first attend law school.
For anyone who wants to travel down a different legal path and perhaps become a court reporter, it is a requirement to become certified through the proper court reporter program. The Hardeman School of Court Reporting is a great place for young adults to kick start their court reporting career. Court reporting school provides many people with a strong education for beginning their court reporting careers.
2. Develop Strong Writing Skills
Proper writing is among the most fundamental skills in the legal field—almost every aspect of the law requires some type of writing, whether it’s in the form of statutes, memorandums, holdings, or court transcripts. The ability to write concisely and thoroughly, while also maintaining proper grammar, is necessary to move forward within this field.
Different aspects of the law require different styles of writing. An attorney is more likely to write statutes and case holdings, while a court reporter is more likely to write shorthand transcripts of a trial. Since strong writing is one of the minimum standards for any legal career, it’s important to perfect this skill early on so you can begin your legal journey with a competitive advantage over other job applicants.
3. Have a Solid Foundation of Legal Knowledge
Basic understanding of the law is crucial in order to succeed in the legal field. One of the most important things to understand upon beginning a legal career is the basic structure of a lawsuit. Whether you want to become a court reporter or a judge, the steps within a lawsuit are necessary to understand, as everyone in the field will be involved in a lawsuit one way or another.
It is also important to understand the basic legal terminology. There is plenty of available information regarding the basics of the legal field. Through the culmination of scholarly articles, official reported cases, or informal sources pertaining to the law, you should be able to develop a decent foundation of legal knowledge to kick-start your career.
4. Gain Experience in the Legal Field
Gaining experience through internships, part-time jobs, and clerkships can really help put you at an advantage for beginning your legal career. It’s important to experience what it is like working in a law firm or courtroom, not only will this be a strong addition to your résumé, but it will also help you decide what type of legal environment you would like to work in. The legal field is broad, having a career as an attorney has seemingly endless possibilities in regard to what type of law one practices.
Some practice fields for attorneys include criminal law, medical malpractice, personal injury, and environmental law. It’s important to note that each of these fields can be broken down significantly. For example, some personal injury attorneys could specialize in representing clients who suffer from a vaping injury, whereas other attorneys in the same field could focus on clients who have suffered from car accidents. Gaining experience in the legal field will help you determine where you want to practice, and that is one of the most important aspects when beginning your legal career.
5. Expand Your Professional Network
Throughout your legal education and early experiences within the legal field, you will meet many other legal professionals. It’s important to maintain good relationships with everyone you come across, whether they’re classmates or co-workers, as you never know who you may need to connect with in the future. Having professional connections is a great way to search for job opportunities—you will likely be notified of positions before they are made available to the public and your connections will be able to put in a good word for you. Maintaining a professional network has become much easier with the advancement of technology, as sites such as LinkedIn allow for everyone to remain connected with one another.