College Advice Blog

Aug 31, 2013

Steps to Becoming a Lawyer

Business ManChoosing a career in law is an incredible decision that requires dedication, patience, and most of all, a good a attitude. Becoming a lawyer takes years of training. Becoming an excellent lawyer requires years of experience on top of that. In order to give yourself the best advantage in the legal field, it's important to continue to research, train, and educate yourself long after law school has ended.

One of the first ways you can continue your training is to spend time with other lawyers. Meet with lawyers in your law firm for dinner or activities. Legal work will naturally come up in conversation. Pay attention to what people talk about. What makes a case strong? What makes it weak? What makes a good witness? How can you encourage your client to behave a certain way? The more attentive you are as a listener, the more you'll naturally learn from your peers.

Another important way to continue to learn long after law school is to continue to read. Think your law school books should retire after you graduate? Think again. Books like "Laying Down the Law," you legal dictionary, and other textbooks should be things you reference on a regular basis. Your legal library is a valuable asset and should be treated as such. Keep your books in good condition and when you have time, review them frequently. While it may not seem very interesting, the truth is that the more you read, the more you'll remember. This will do nothing but benefit you in the future, especially in the courtroom.

Becoming a lawyer is hard work. No one said it would be easy. Your goal is completely attainable but keep in mind that hard work, challenges, long hours, and exhaustion don't end when you walk across that stage at your graduation ceremony. Being an excellent lawyer means continuously working to better yourself and to improve your understanding of the law. Because legal issues are constantly arising, laws are always changing, and culture is constantly differing, it's important to have a firm grasp not only of the current laws, but of important and notable cases of the past.

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