Those who want to be lawyers can ready themselves for this challenging field by finding classes, extracurricular activities and jobs that prepare them early for this profession’s mental challenges. While elementary school students are not going to be preparing legal briefs against their peers, they can be working on the character qualities and skills that they will need later in life, such as honesty, hard work, integrity and excellent communication skills. As they reach the later years of schooling and head into college, here are four ways that smart students can prepare themselves for this rewarding career.
Middle School Prep
Pre-teens who believe that they may want to pursue a career in the legal field someday can begin as early as middle school to attain a well-rounded educational resume. They may wish to learn communication and team-working skills by taking part in speech or debate classes, or even by acting in school plays. Middle school is a good time for students to evaluate their skills and see where their strengths lie. This time can be a crucial one when it comes to determining an educational course for each student. This is also the time to begin learning how to research topics.
High School Classes
High school presents more important opportunities for students. Students will want to take creative writing classes and ensure that they focus on history and social studies subjects, including political science. Deciding whether you enjoy these sort of topics is of the utmost importance, especially if working in the field of law is something that interests you. High school students can also take part in extra summer activities, such as law camps, to determine if this is the right field for them
Earning the Right Degree
Upon reaching college, the smart student will determine which area he or she wishes to specialize in, such as corporate law or criminal law. One interesting field is education law, which focuses on school districts, educational agencies and teachers. This is a specific area in the field of law, and students must know how these sort of bodies function. These lawyers will help to create educational policies for schools and will represent parents and students.
Gap Year Jobs
A gap-year job can do much to further a student’s legal career and aspirations. It can cement the decision to be a lawyer and can look good on a resume someday. These transitional positions are great for students to take on during the summer, or during another break in the school year. Some great options include working as a paralegal or a research analyst, or students may want to consider the Peace Corps or Teach for America.
Some people may feel discouraged in pursuing legal degrees because of the extra years of schooling that are needed following a bachelor’s degree. However, most people can complete their degrees within 7 years of graduating from high school and go on to have successful and fulfilling careers. The smart student who pursues a law degree will be a well-rounded person with many available opportunities for achievement.