Thursday, June 30, 2011

Last Year of Law School

What a wild ride and what an anti climatic ending to it all. It was all very exciting in the beginning, titillating torts, contracts, property, and civil procedure. Now I am tolerating Sports Law and fumbling through Criminal Practice, all the while half asleep. I went through so many phases throughout this adventure. From gung ho study a holic to total slacker to diligent reader.

My recommendations: Get into a law firm quickly. Intern, extern, whatever you have to do...learn the practical side ASAP. Why? Because working in a firm gives you all the knowledge you will NOT get from school. And, having that knowledge makes the substantive topics so much easier to understand. Also, you need to network from the start. At this point I have been exposed to so many lawyers in so many different fields of work and they know my name. That is priceless. You need a favor, have a question, whatever they are eager to help.

Try the DA's office, try it all. Focus more on gaining real world experience and a little less on things like law frats.

Continually foster good relations among your classmates, they will stay with you in one way or another for life. They will come in handy and you want to make sure they know you as competent and respectable. Not the drunk girl who hooked up with everyone.

At this point in law school other lawyers start to look at you more like a colleague and they respect you. Obviously, you are not at their level yet but they realize that you are minutes away from joining them in the big leagues. The most valuable piece of advice I have been given over and over again by the most seasoned and successful lawyers and judges is to preserve your integrity at all costs. If you lie, even just once, and get caught--you are done forever in that city. You will always be known as the sleezy guy who said he needed a continuance due to having 3 trials on calender...when really he was on vacation.

Always be professional and open to negotiations, don't advocate just to win, be strategic and the favors will be returned. Be professional starting now, dress for the part and always be honest.

I can't wait to start my own firm. I day dream at night of exactly how I will set it up. Just one more year.....

1 comment:

R said...

I'm just starting my last year too. I'm doing exactly what you suggest with the practical experience. Good advise.