Becoming a lawyer is one of the most admirable and high-status careers you can aspire to. Those that set out to become a law professional are often those who enjoy structure, process, equality, and discussion. There are so many different sectors of law that it can be difficult to understand which direction you want to take specifically. However, the road to a successful law career is spread out enough over the course of several years that although planning is essential, you do have time to thoroughly think through all your major necessary decisions.
Steps to Build a Law Career
Paying Your Way
Law school is not cheap and there is simply no other way to say it. If you are going to law school, even the most affordable universities are still going to be in the six figures. For the majority of people, this means student loans. While you might be nervous about taking on more debt, especially if you are still carrying student loans from undergraduate, take a deep breath because even though the number up front can be frightful, once you graduate there are ways to break down your payments into manageable amounts.
Student loan refinancing is incredibly common and for good reason. When you sign your contract and take out your loan, you are doing so under one set of terms and conditions with interest rates that are current to that time. As time goes on, these rates will fluctuate and odds are by the time you graduate, they will have changed significantly. As a way of lowering your monthly expenses post-graduation you can take advantage of a NaviRefi student loan refinance and move your existing student loans into a new loan. The principle amount you borrowed won’t change, and you will still be responsible for that, however the total amount you repay can be reduced significantly with a refi thanks to lower interest rates.
Managing Your Time Wisely
Finding success in law school takes an extreme amount of discipline. You probably already realize that you are going to have to study a ton, work hard on your essays and test prep, and also join extra curriculars in an effort to gain experience and enhance your resume, but what you might not yet realize is that you do also need to find balance in your schedule so that you do not burn out. Time management is non-negotiable. Find a process that works for you and stick to it diligently. Many use physical planners or scheduling apps to help them stay on track and complete all their tasks efficiently.
You should also consider your life outside the classroom. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you maintaining personal relationships? What does your diet and exercise routine look like? These thinking points are not meant to overwhelm you, rather to encourage you to make time management a priority. You probably think that spending 24 hours a day in the library is worth more than a 20-minute walk or phone call with a loved one, but the truth is humans need balance to thrive. Neglecting yourself and your life outside your studies might actually end up costing you more on the back end too if you do burn yourself out and completely shut down.
Network Like Crazy
Once you graduate and begin to look for places to work, you are going to be really glad that you spent your time in law school building professional relationships with as many as possible. Going into the job pool anonymous and ending up as just another resume in the stack on someone’s desk is not the most ideal way to snag an interview and eventually start your career. As a student, pay attention to clubs you can join that are geared towards your specific area of interest. The fellow students and professors you are likely to meet in these circles can be great resources for not only finding a job but also encouraging you along the way. Find out what types of alumni activities and events are happening at your law school and make it a priority to attend. After having worked so hard in university, people are often so proud of their alma-mater that they look towards new graduates to become their future employees.
Consider finding a mentor as well. This can be an older classmate with some more experience than you, a willing professor, or simply a member of the law community that you align with in terms of their work and accomplishments. Since law is such a passionate career path, many that work in this sector are more than happy to share their learnings and advice with an up-and-coming colleague. If you are too shy to approach someone in person, you can find a mentor online through several platforms designed specifically to bring people together in these types of partnerships. This search process can also remove geographical limitations that might come with looking only within a pool of people with close physical proximity to yourself.