Law school hopefuls work diligently to get grades that allow them to enter into law school. Complex and tedious, law school is competitive, and students will be forced to meet strict standards to remain enrolled in their school.
Students who want to remain competitive in their legal field and find a job quickly must look into their specialization options.
You don’t want to wait until you’ve graduated to choose a specialization.
If you’re stuck trying to find a specialization that works for you, a good route to take is to:
1. Experiment in Different Areas of Law
You don’t know what you’ll love doing until you dive in and start working in the area. You’ll be introduced to a plethora of law basics during your first year, and while this may seem like overload, you’re building a foundation that will allow you to strengthen your understanding of the law.
Within the next two years, you’ll be able to experiment on your own.
The goal is to:
- Experiment with elective classes
You can choose a specialization while in law school, but if you find out early enough that you prefer another area of law, you can switch your specialization, too.
If you never figure out what you like in law school, you’ll start your career in an area of specialty you may dread on a day-by-day basis.
2. Internship During the Summer
A good summer internship is often underrated. Internships can help you gain valuable experience in the field, and it will provide you with a real-life perspective of your specialization. It’s much easier to cement the year’s knowledge in your mind when you go to an actual law firm and practice what you’ve been taught all year.
Internships provide valuable insights into an area of specialization that’s right for you.
You’ll also benefit from:
- Networking with a potential future employer
- Experience you can put on your resume
- Meet peers in the industry
Internships are fun, exciting and a must for any serious law school student.
3. Research Trends
The law field is changing, and if you want to position yourself for a career in an ailing economy, you need to become more competitive and productive. A lot is expected from new law school grads, and knowing the trends in the legal profession will bolster your chances of a bright career.
A few trends to consider are:
- Social networking
- Legal process outsourcing
- Virtual law firms
- Anti-trust regulation changes
And this is just the beginning of the trends you’ll need to follow to stay relevant and really find your place in the legal world.
4. Talk to an In-House Career Counselor
An in-house career counselor likely works at your law school already. These professionals will work with you to determine a few specialization paths that will work in your favor. How are these paths determined?
- Asked about your strengths and weaknesses
- Asked about your educational background
- Required to discuss previous employment
And the counselor will often take additional steps to try and help you find a specialization that will fit your personality and likes perfectly. There’s a lot of work involved, but it’s worthwhile when you’re not set on a specific specialization.
Many law firms are also offering in-house career counseling.
It’s in the best interest of the employer to find your best fit in a firm. You might be strong in personal injury law or real estate law, and if the firm can utilize these strengths, they will.
Weaknesses can also be addressed once they’re examined to help strengthen these issues and work on them to boost your chances of future employment.
5. Discuss Your Options With Attorneys in the Field
Attorneys in the field, especially at a firm you’re interning at, are a valuable source of information and will be more than willing to discuss your potential specialization with you. The goal of the discussion is to gain insider information on the specialization.
Maybe there’s a big gap of qualified professionals able to meet industry demand, or maybe the specialization is flailing and isn’t a good choice at the moment.
- Ask the attorney questions.
- Work with the attorney for a few days.
- Learn more about your specialization in a hands-on way.
If you get first-hand experience in a particular area of specialization, you’ll be better prepared to either land a job in the specialization, or choose a specialization you might find enjoyable.