Which Area of Law Should You Pursue?
Law schools offer an overwhelming array of concentrations, certificates and diplomas. Do you feel out of the loop? That’s okay, specialties and interests bloom as more classes and organizations fill your schedule. Just like college, some students arrive with a specific interest; some will stay the track while others will deviate. Still, a majority of incoming students have no clue where their degree will lead.
So how will you decide?
Your classes will guide you. Although every foundational course has its value, students typically find a niche within their first two years. For example, contracts might not be your path if you prefer trial advocacy. Or maybe you have a strong scientific background that compliments patent law. Take your time, reflect on your interests and network!
Ask professors. Yes, meet your professors during office hours. Most will be more than happy to talk about your interests – especially if it’s a similar field. Don’t be shy, explore your options.
Meet Career Services. Career counselors are paid to know about legal job options and market availability. They are a great resource for guidance on landing a job in your preferred field. They can candidly discuss job options. Furthermore, they offer resume and interview coaching to give you an edge in the job market. Again, network, explore and learn.
Join professional organizations. Do not just join student groups, become involved. Meet guest speakers or better yet seek out speakers for the group. Attend conferences and professional organizations. You might meet a future employer.
Participate with a clinic. Clinics offer pro bono experience to law students. At Widener Law, students represent a client from swearing in to a settlement or verdict. The interviewing, case briefing and research skills provided through clinics are extraordinary. If you are considering traditional attorney work, seek out clinical opportunities.
Overall, take advantage of the opportunities presented to you. Your skills and talents develop in time. As always, feel free to contact me with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org