For many law applicants, deciding what they want to do with a law degree may be difficult.
“You don’t need to have your future career path mapped out to apply to law school, but it is helpful to have a direction in mind,” Kuris writes. “Clear career goals can help you stay focused and motivated throughout the law school application process, from LSAT practice to weighing competing opportunities.”
One of the best ways to find the right career path is to explore various internships.
“Before applying to law school, look for opportunities to help out at legal offices or organizations,” Kuris writes. “Not only will you gain potential recommenders and excellent material for a personal statement, but you will get ideas for what kinds of legal work you are most interested in and what kinds of environments allow you to thrive.”
Experts suggest applicants to start by sending speculative applications to companies they’re interested in.
“Chances are, you already know the companies you want to intern with,” Mario Palermo, of ABA For Law Students, writes. “If not, make a list of law firms that interest you and start doing this months in advance. Send them out speculative emails attached with your latest CV and a short personalized cover letter. Tell them why you’d like to intern with them and request them about their upcoming vacancies.”
REACH OUT TO PRACTICING PROFESSIONALS
Kuris says it can be helpful to reach out to people with careers that may interest you.
“Send a polite request over email or social media and ask for an informational interview,” Kuris writes. “Be clear, direct and respectful. Make clear that you are not asking for any favors besides a quick coffee or a brief phone call.”
There are a number of resources available online for prospective law students to learn more about careers open to them.
“Beyond U.S. News and World Report resources, you can easily access articles and posts from lawyers, law firms and legal news sites,” Kuris adds. “Don’t worry if your research turns up more questions than answers. Ultimately, it’s best to approach law school with an open mind but some informed ideas about your future career.”