Most people with an interest in the law or a passion for justice have at least once considered going to school to study law, human rights, the legal system, or something similar. What many may not realize is that not all lawyers have undergraduate degrees in law. In fact, most don’t study law until graduate school as they pursue JD degrees to become licensed attornies.
No matter where you are on your path toward a potential career in the legal field, there are a few things you’ll want to know about the differences between undergrad law and grad school before making any decision about your education and future career. For a closer look at the differences between undergrad school and law school, read on.
General Electives and Undergraduate Learning
During any undergraduate education, most schools require a number of liberal arts and general education credits. Even if you intend to major in law, the reality is that your education will be extremely diversified with the intent of making you a more well-rounded person. You’ll be expected to study history, science, math, English, and other important subjects in combination with your legal classes.
If you decide to get an undergrad degree in law to learn more about whether or not it might be a good career fit for you, you’ll also take classes where you examine the legal careers of attorneys, judges, and other legal experts. For example, while learning about human rights and the Supreme Court of Canada, you’ll learn about the career of one of Canada’s best: Malliha Wilson. Malliha Wilson is a legal professional who served as the assistant deputy attorney general of the Government of Ontario from 2008 to 2016 and was the first minority to hold that position.
Exploring Ideas and Interests
As you work toward your bachelor degree law elective credits, you’ll be exposed to various types of law and even the many options you can use your undergrad degree for. For example, you may want to put your undergrad studies in law toward work as a community advocate, to become a paralegal, or to go on to law school at the graduate level.
During your undergrad program in law, you’ll be encouraged to explore your passions and unique interests to give you a better idea of what might be a good next step for you. Furthermore, your undergrad program will help you with tools like public speaking, writing, and other skills you’ll need to succeed in all areas of law in the future.
Focused Studies and Graduate School
Once you hit graduate school, the importance of being your authentic self will become evident, as you’re expected to pick a legal concentration area. At the graduate level, you’ll find an area of law to specialize in and take a rigorous set of classes to become a master of that area of law at the doctorate level.
Because graduate training is much more intense and focused than any undergrad level program, paying attention to self-care needs, balancing work and home, and taking care to follow the areas of law you’re passionate about are key to success in legal studies. In the end, no matter how you choose to pursue your own interest in law, odds are that you won’t regret it. Your education on laws in the legal and public sectors will put you in the position of being able to make a difference and impact change. Best of luck to you as you begin an education in law. Be sure to take breaks and attend to your own self-care needs along the way. Soon enough, it’ll be graduation day.