Getting into law school is a piece of cake.
Getting into a good law school – good being defined as whatever the popular law school rankings consider good this week – is not such a big deal either. That's what my book, Covert Tactics for Getting Into the Law School of Your Choice is all about. But getting into law school is just the first step in a very long road. Once you accept that offer of admission you have committed yourself to spend three years and, potentially, hundreds of thousands of dollars educating yourself so that you will be qualified to practice law. Of course, these costs do not even include the potential income you are sacrificing during your additional studies.
Then, unless you are one of the few competent law school students who manage to land a job with a big firm paying top dollar, you will likely be surprised to find yourself making less as a new lawyer than you would have been making if you ' d skipped law school and instead pursued that career in pharmaceutical sales.
That's ok, if you are willing to take the long view, because getting your first job after law school is just the next step in a very long road. Getting into law school is simply the first step along that road.
After you've worked that first job for a while, sometimes a few months or even a few years, you will start to see what you like and what you hate about practicing law. If you really hate what you are doing, start looking for something else right away.
Practicing real estate law is very different from prosecuting criminals. Once you have too much experience in a narrow field it can become very difficult to switch gears. You will not feel comfortable doing something else and employers will not be interested in training you to do something entirely new, particularly if you are not willing to take new lawyer pay.
So the next step in the journey is migrating to where you want to be. If you have allowed yourself to become stuck in some narrow niche you may have to simply strike out on your own to do what you want. That's easier than you think, even if you do not have any experience – but I'll leave that for my next book.
If you are competent to have found an employer you like in a field of law you enjoy, then you should do everything possible to get a piece of the pie. In the law business we typically call this "making partner" – and that's the end of the road for our purposes here.
Once you make partner, either with another firm, a management position for a public agency, general counsel for a corporation, or by opening your own law practice, you're in control. It can take a few years, and it will not be as much fun as you might think, but you can get there.
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