The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will be an average 4-percent increase in the demand for lawyers from 2019 to 2029. The world will always need lawyers—after all, as time goes on, the world sees just how much we need justice and people who believe in it at the core.
Regardless of your reasons for wanting to become an attorney, there is room for you and your honorable aspirations. If you are dreaming of becoming a successful lawyer someday, here are some essential tips while you take your undergraduate studies—because it’s never too early to plan for success.
Choose a major that fits your goals the most
While there is no specific underground major that will ensure your entry into your dream law school or ensure that you will thrive once you get in, it will still be advantageous if you choose one that reflects your goals and interests. At the same time, a study from 2017 to 2018 found that the 10 most common majors of those who make it to law school include the following:
- Political science
- Criminal justice
- Humanities and arts
If any of these majors capture your fancy, consider choosing them and allow them to train you for what’s to come in law school. At the same time, even if you choose courses that require more “hard” skills, such as mechanical engineering, that will also be an advantage since law schools love well-rounded students.
Prioritize your grades
Your grade point average (GPA) will make or break your chances of getting into a good law school. One of your priorities should be maintaining a high GPA throughout your undergraduate career. At the same time, working hard on getting good grades will also prepare you for law school work since it will build your endurance.
Prepare hard for the LSAT
The law school admission test (LSAT) is notorious for being an extremely hard test. But the good news is that nothing is impossible, especially when you prepare early. At the same time, a good score on your LSAT might compensate for a not-so-high GPA. However, you increase your chances for success if you have both in your arsenal. During your third or fourth year of your bachelor’s degree, consider taking a few practice LSATs. Make sure to simulate accurate testing conditions to check your endurance and to know your areas for improvement. Borrow some books in your college library or explore classes that can help you as you prepare.
Make reading a lifelong love and habit
Don’t even think of being a lawyer if you hate reading. Here are some tips for building up good reading and studying habits:
- If you’re taking a course that’s heavy on readings and materials, make a habit of finishing and completing them on time. You may have a hard time catching up if you fall behind.
- Brief every case properly. Make a habit of taking notes and organizing them in ways that allow you to gain better insight into the case. Identify the legal issues and understand how the court came to a decision. Make sure your summaries are brief.
- Embrace group studying and teamwork. Much of what you will learn in law school will come from interactions with your fellow students.
One great example of this is V.K. Rajah S.C., a former judicial officer in Singapore who currently runs his own practice. Despite everything that he has accomplished, he continues to read up on political and social issues that affect not just Singapore but the entire world. His example shows that with a commitment to ethos and love for work and professionalism, you can emerge from every institution you enter much better than when you first came into it.
Establish networking skills with your professors
One of the key parts of applying for law schools will be recommendations from your professors. Make sure to establish a healthy working relationship with your professors and instructors to ensure that you get accurate and helpful recommendations. Seek mentorship from them to help you improve your academic skills as well.
While extracurricular activities are far from the first thing law schools look at, it also can’t hurt if you participate in student organizations and internships you’re passionate about, such as student publications or student government. It will certainly show your versatility and will facilitate your self-development.
With enough drive, passion, and hard work, there’s no reason why you can’t achieve your dream of being a lawyer and do it with flying colors.