Career Advice for Aspiring African American Lawyers

February 19, 2011  |  

Aspiring lawyers want to take on tough legal matters and/or settle disputes in a court of law. With a combination of smarts and skills, you could take on this new revelation and turn it into a successful career. But first, you should investigate what it will mean for you and your career. It takes years of schools, a huge financial investment and will power, which will be useful in the long run.

So, do you think you have what it takes?

Check it out:

1. Prepare for and Pass the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)

During college, start charting out a plan to pass the Law School Admissions Test, otherwise known as the LSAT. There are a host of study materials, pre-tests, and supplies to help get you into the law school of your choice. Pick a solid three or four schools to apply to during the admissions process. And remember that schools examine a prospective student’s test scores, grade point average, background and related experience to see if they are a right fit for the program.

2. Obtain a bachelors degree from a college or university

If you have a desired interest in pre-law or political science matters, then you should pursue a four-year degree in either of these fields. If you graduated with a degree other than politics, then you should formulate a reason for why you want to pursue law in the first place. Do want to practice entertainment, civil law, or handle divorce matters? Or do you want to do it in conjunction with another career? As long as you have a bachelors with an above average grade point average, then you can make strides in this profession.

3. Pursue law school

You have landed the opportunity of a lifetime: current law school student! Now you must complete a three-year degree at a law school which involves rigorous training, classes, and extensive research in legal matters, principles and history. Working your way though also comes at a hefty price, so look into ways to pay for your education through scholarships, loans or jobs. This additional experience will surely stick out to employers.

4. Participate in extracurricular activities (including internships)

The legal system appreciates new lawyers with a plethora of experience and community involvement to back up their credentials. While your pursuing law school, participate in extracurricular activities such as  internships or the campus law journal. This will come in handy once you start looking for a full-time or part-time job. At this time, ascertain your chosen field. Entertainment law, civil court cases, or criminal court cases are just some of the legal matters you could take on with a law degree.

5. Study and pass the bar exam

The bar exam has proven to be the most difficult period for those trying to practice law. The law associations in your state, or other states will provide the test to see how knowledgeable you are about the legal system. Make sure to study and prepare for the test, and find out about the requirements, fees and important dates. Do a thorough reading of all subjective material so that your not wasting your time, money and energy.

6. Send out a resume with your experience to public and private sectors

After passing the bar, you must solidify your mark as a trained lawyer in the profession. First, you must gain employment and seek out opportunities which will propel you in the right direction. Networking helps, as well as marketing your abilities to various public and private sectors. Send out a resume outlining your experience. Those companies who see your credentials, may be more willing to hire you.

Aspiring attorneys should also find mentors in their chosen fields.

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