Monday, December 3, 2018

If You Want To Go To Law School, You Must Have A Law Background

Most of my friends who wanted to attend law school were majoring in Political Science, Legal Studies and Criminal Justice and many of them managed to land internships with judges or attorneys during and after college. I however chose a different path. In addition to not majoring in either one of those majors, the career opportunities I pursued were for the most part non-law related.

After I was admitted into law school, I was concerned that I would not be as prepared as my classmates with a legal background. Fortunately, it has been a whole two months since classes started, and up until now I have not felt that my lack of legal expertise has hindered my ability to understand and follow what professors are teaching. I have, however, come to appreciate the perspective my non-legal pursuits have provided me. For example, between college and law school I volunteered at a rape crisis center, where I had the opportunity to learn how to best listen to, and advocate for, survivors of sexual violence. I feel that background allows me to bring a different perspective to the class when we are discussing the approaches and shortcomings of the criminal justice system. I also feel that if I chose to pursue a career in criminal justice, this perspective would be an asset.

So, if you, like me, are terrified to start law school with no legal background, breath- it’s fine. You will be fine. I wish someone would have told me that a long time ago- it would have saved me a lot of panic.

As a disclaimer: While I did not have a law-related major or law-related career prior to coming to law school, I made sure to conduct extensive research about the legal field. I also made sure to talk to as many lawyers as possible about the legal profession to decide whether it was a good fit for me. I strongly recommend anyone who lacks a legal background to do the same before committing to the exciting adventure that is your 1L year.

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