You clearly got the grades to get into law school. Now, the question is – how do you get out in one piece? Check out which breed of law student you are and what you should be thinking about right now.
As a law student, you are likely to fall into three possible groups:
- you love law, all you want to do is be a lawyer or some related enterprise;
- you are indifferent to your studies, you could totally see yourself spinning off and selling beads at a hippie market, but possibly drawn to the comfort of a regular pay cheque; or
- you hate law, it was your parents’ idea or some other unspeakable societal pressure, and you are already planning your grand escape.
Let’s start with Type #3
I only have four words for you – WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Get out of there, and never come back (to law school). You’re justified in sticking to your chosen path and no one should be telling you what to do. Of all people, you will probably flake off faster than one can say “peeling paint” and you probably already have a side-gig ready to take off. You’re probably the least concern in that sense, as long as you follow your passion.
You’re a Type #2 floater
My only advice is that you should take the time during university to explore your interests, especially outside law. It’s a really good time to start querying what you actually want to do.
Bang heads with your friends and explore starting up a side-gig together, go travel the world, learn opera singing, do a photography course.
A legal career has many ups and downs. You need the extra ‘oomph’ to be able to last at least 6 to 10 years if you really want to make it a career. During this time, you should also have other interests to keep things balanced. Make sure that you really want to practice in the law. Otherwise, there are plenty of other options out there for you. The world is your oyster.
Ok, I get it – you’re a Type #1
Well, life is pretty exciting for you (although others might think you’re anything but).
My advice is that you think more broadly beyond the Big Firm option. A career in public interest law, e.g. advocacy work at the Office of Public Prosecutions, can be very rewarding. At this point, some questions you might want to ask yourself are:
- Why am I passionate about law?
- What are my real motivations for being a lawyer? Is it the money/prestige, or is for a more broader intellectual or social purpose? (Note that once you take into account the number of hours you work in the first 10-15 years, the money is not really as flash as you think it might be.)
- Where do I ultimately want to take my career? (Obviously this is purely hypothetical, but it forms a good anchor for you to assess your general future trajectory.)
Thanks, I’ve discovered myself… or HELP!
Feel free to drop me a message if you think you’ve discovered a whole new breed of law student, or just need to chat. Otherwise, I hope I have helped you along the way of discovering your true path!