A friend wanted to get into med school. But to do so, she needed extracurriculars: work, volunteer experience, ou name it. Plus, she needed to take a full course load with top grades. So, she worked part-time while tackling umpteen challenges. Worse, she had a chronic disease. Despite setbacks and demands, she ploughed through.
Like med students, law students are required to have a breadth of extracurriculars, according to Tufail Hussain, author of New Year Resolutions of a Law Student: Skills You Need to Become Successful in Academic and Professional Legal Career (2018).
Law students also need a mastery of basics, business acumen, and sometimes weaponry training.
First, as a law student, you must have a strong grasp of basic terminology: “Unless you have got a full command on the fundamentals and the basic concepts of the law, no matter at what stage of the legal studies you are, you are going to struggle with understanding and applying the legal principles” (Hussain, 2018, p. 7).
I never learned the basics of graduate level theory. I’d wonder, “What political climate served as the origin of this theory? Who paid for it and for what purpose? What biases prevailed?” Such questions plagued me.
Second, law students require commerce backgrounds. A double degree in law studies and business could give any lawyer an edge: “The law firm is not just about law, it is about business as well, and that business is extremely competitive. The recruiters want you to help them improve their business and they expect that you come with a necessary commercial knowledge and business acumen” (Hussain, 2018, p. 9).
I argue a communications graduate degree could benefit commerce lawyers. At the graduate level, communications courses tear apart the ethics of business. One grad student said, “Class after class, we’re told how bad business is.” So, if you want to fashion yourself as a corporate lawyer, take communications graduate classes. That way, you’ll get an edge in shredding the ethics of company X.
Lastly, sometimes law students need weaponry training. Unlike business lawyers, criminal lawyers gain from a stint in the military. With military training, they’d get a paid education on ammunitions and guns. Detective training helps, too. And forensic training could top off any law practice. Hussain says, “If you want to be a criminal lawyer, then you need to be well rehearsed about the criminal psychology, weapons, and drugs that are subject of criminal investigation, the way the police work and the way they follow the procedures in practice” (2018, p. 10).
On a scary note, have you ever wondered how criminal law attorneys make a living? Criminals don’t have money, do they? That is, unless they’re drug lords or mafia. But what if you become a lawyer and get sucked into criminal life?
In other words, choose your law specialty wisely.