In today’s legal job climate, anything fledgling attorneys can do to give them a leg up over other desperate and driven job seeks can be incredibly helpful. This week’s post from Shawn O’Connor on US News’ Law Admissions Lowdown suggests that students taking advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities in law school.
O’Connor isn’t urging every new attorney who cannot find a job to go out and start their own business. Instead, he suggests entrepreneurial thinking can lead to success in all levels and professions. Regardless, O’Connor gives examples of two particular types of law that someone would benefit having an entrepreneurship mindset and training.
The first group is lawyers who do end up opening a private-practice law firm at some point in their careers. Obviously running a business takes some skills that a traditional legal education will not provide. Some examples are marketing, advertising and budgeting. There is managing employees too. Regardless, O’Connor says the days of students striking out and starting their new legal practice right out of law school are gone. Now it takes time to learn and build relationships.
Next, an entrepreneurship background or mindset is attractive to corporate law firms that are profit-driven. Going beyond corporate law and contracts courses, O’Connor suggests students can take some nontraditional courses and electives to gain an entrepreneurship-specific legal education. Courses such as securities regulations, corporate taxation, and labor and employment law are all helpful to such pursuits.
Nevertheless, O’Connor suggests not putting too much weight on a J.D. being an indicator of entrepreneurial success. Just because someone has a J.D. and has taken some courses geared towards entrepreneurship success does not mean they are going to be a startup genius. It takes time, learning and humility.
Shawn O’Connor has contributed to Tipping the Scales and is CEO of Stratus Prep, a test preparation and admissions consulting agency.
Source: U.S. News
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