So you want to go to law school? If so, you’ve probably asked yourself (at least I hope you have!) if you actually want to be a lawyer. Unfortunately, figuring out whether you want to be a lawyer is difficult. How is a college student or recent graduate supposed to know what it’s actually like to be a lawyer? Keep reading to help find the answer to “should I go to law school question?”
Click on the links below to jump to a section on deciding whether to go to law school.
- Get Legal Job Before Law School
- Exercises to Familiarize Yourself with Real Legal Work
- Suggested Books for Pre-Law Student
Get a Legal Job
One great way is to get a job as a legal assistant at a law firm. You’ll be able to observe the firm’s day-to-day operations and get a sense of the lives that attorneys lead. But not everyone is going to be able to do that. Below are a couple exercises that will help you get a sense of what it is that lawyers do.
Before we get to the exercises, it’s useful to understand a bit about the legal field. Broadly speaking, there are two types of lawyers: litigation and transactional. Litigation attorneys deal with disputes between parties, i.e. lawsuits. Transactional attorneys deal with agreements between parties, i.e. contracts. I’ve provided one exercise for each type.
Should I Go To Law School Exercise #1: Litigation
Litigation is the process of resolving disputes using the legal process. It includes civil lawsuits, criminal prosecutions, actions before administrative tribunals, and claims in private arbitration.
The purpose of this exercise is to familiarize you with how litigation works in the real world (as opposed to the super exciting way it works on television and in movies).
To illustrate this, we’re going to use King v. Burwell. This case is one of the many lawsuits that stemmed from the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The exercise is going to take you through the process of Supreme Court litigation (appellate litigation). It should give you a sense of the work product that litigation attorneys produce. [Read more…]