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Researching Legal Career Paths: From Law School Applications to Practicing Attorney

  •  Pre-Law Advisor: A first conversation can help you focus your goals and plan for the challenges ahead. 
  • Pre-Law Website: Now that you are here, review Hunter's Pre-Law website.  Go to the "Resources" tab on the left for helpful links and relevant books in Hunter’s library 2nd floor reserves. 
  • Pre-Law Events: Information sessions about undergraduate planning for law school, law school admissions and finance, the law school experience, and legal practice are offered at Hunter throughout the year.   Check out the “Events” tab on the left.  Join the Pre-Law listserv (instructions on the right hand side of this page) to receive updates.
  • Pre-Law Society (Club): Join Hunter peers who share your interests, and get tips for success from upperclassmen.  Find them on Facebook.
  • Law School Admissions Council (LSAC): Familiarize yourself with the various components of the law school admissions process by going to the LSAC webpage at www.LSAC.org
  • Career Development Office: Visit Career Development Services on the 8th floor of Hunter East.  Speak with a career counselor, take an interest assessment test, and visit their library.
  • Tap into Law Schools: Contact a law school admissions office to arrange to visit a class for first-year students.  Many law schools schedule open houses and other programs for prospective students.  Check law school web sites for information.  LSAC sponsors free law school admissions forums, which generally occur in New York in the fall.  Remember that they are checking you out, as you are checking them out.
  • Talk to Law Students: Get a law student mentor (through Pre-Law advising); come to the spring panel on surviving law school.
  • Law-Related Classes: A law-related class at Hunter can give you insight into whether the material appeals to you (but realize that it is not the equivalent of a law school class).  Moot Court offers great skill-building!
  • Experience: Work as a paralegal or intern in a law firm, legal department of a government agency or private company, prosecutor’s or public defender’s office, judge’s chambers, or non-profit legal organization.  Volunteer in a rights-based non-profit.  Consider exploring a substantive area of interest through an internship that is not strictly “legal”; a deeper knowledge of a substantive area can help inform you of how it relates to the law.  There is a strong law and policy nexus in the U.S. via regulatory activity.
  • Talk to Lawyers: Conduct informal interviews of friends, family, and alumni who are lawyers.  Find out how they spend their time.  Pre-Law events with attorneys such as Lunch with a Lawyer, Careers in Law Day, and other events also give you the opportunity to meet with attorneys, as does Hunter’s professional mentor program (see the Pre-Law advisor for info).
  • Visit Courtrooms: Observe trials and other proceedings to see litigators and judges in action, and gain exposure to a variety of types of litigation.  NYC has numerous federal, state and local courts; all are open to the public.
  • The Official Guide to Legal Specialties: Review the various legal specialties as described by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP).  This book reviews and describes major practice areas in chapter-length discussion, and is included in Hunter’s library 2nd floor reserves.
  • Careers in Law: Read an accessible discussion of the work of lawyers, delivery of services and various areas of practice by Gary A. Munneke, published by McGraw-Hill.  Currently on order for Hunter’s library 2nd floor reserves but also available through on-line retailers.
  • Justia.com:  Review basic descriptions of various practice areas in laymen terms.  In connection with the discussion of various practice specialties, the site provides links to relevant articles, court cases, legislation, regulation, and current news relating to that area.  A for-profit company, Justia.com also provides business services to law firms. 
  • LinkedIn: Know of someone who has your dream job?  Look up their resume and discover how their career has unfolded.
  • NYT/WSJ and beyond: Once you know your interest – cultivate it!  Stay current with developments by reading a daily paper et al.  If an area relates to your scholarly interests, link it to an academic research paper.

 

 

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