High school is a pivotal period in your life. You’ll enjoy social opportunities during this period, such as attending your prom and maybe getting your first job or your driver’s license. You can also make academic decisions that will impact your future.
You can start planning for your chosen career during high school. Let’s look at some strategies you can use to prepare for law school while you’re completing high school.
Prepare for your academic costs.
Earning a law degree is expensive. As of 2019, law school students spent an average of $44,600 per year on tuition and school fees in addition to living expenses. Since it takes three years to complete law school, total degree tuition costs for most students exceed $100,000. Qualifying for law school also involves earning an undergraduate degree, which means you’ll also have tuition costs, academic fees, and living expenses from those four years to cover.
Qualifying for scholarships can significantly impact your options when you’re pursuing your postsecondary studies. The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) provides valuable information about multiple high school scholarships, such as the NSHSS Creative Writing, Claes Nobel Future Female Leader, Di Yerbury Study Abroad Essay, James W. Lewis Entrepreneur, and NSHSS STEAM scholarships. Researching your scholarship options is a great way to ensure you’re aware of financing you could access and use to meet the application criteria for scholarships.
NSHSS also offers webinars and a leadership program, helping you acquire information and skills that may impress admissions boards and employers.
Talk to attorneys about their academic choices.
Since earning an undergraduate degree is a prerequisite for acceptance to law school, you’ll benefit from talking to lawyers about their academic choices. For example, Malliha Wilson’s a senior partner with Nava Wilson LLP with over 30 years of prior experience working for the Ontario Government as senior appellate litigation counsel. Wilson earned her undergraduate degree at McGill University, one of Canada’s best universities.
After graduating from McGill University, Wilson earned her law degree from York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School. Many lawyers choose one legal specialty they focus on during their career, but Wilson handles complex litigation, labour law cases, human rights lawsuits, and Indigenous legal matters. Malliha Wilson also offers constitutional and corporate legal services. Interviewing an attorney such as Wilson is a great way to learn about their academic choices and how those decisions ensured they were academically prepared for their career. These insights could help you identify the legal specialty you want to pursue and which postsecondary institutions offer the best programs for your career goals.
Complete an internship to gain practical experience.
It’s natural to think about academic requirements when preparing to enter law school, but you can also benefit from practical experience. Pursuing an internship with a law firm offers firsthand insight into how a law firm works and how to prepare a legal case. Law school admissions boards consider practical experience when reviewing law school applications, and some schools favor applicants with work experience.
Pursue extracurricular activities.
Both undergraduate and law school admissions boards consider extracurricular activities when reviewing applications. Admissions boards favor students who pursue interests while maintaining a solid GPA. Law school applicants can demonstrate their public engagement by joining reputable organizations and engaging in volunteer work.
Study for the LSAT.
Accredited law school applicants must take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) to qualify for acceptance. Preparing for the LSAT and earning a solid score can impress law school admissions boards and ensure you have an opportunity to earn your law degree.
You can do many things during high school to prepare to earn your law degree. Earning scholarships ensures you have the funds to pay for college. Talking to attorneys can help you identify the best law school programs to attend. Gaining practical experience, pursuing extracurricular activities, and studying for the LSAT will also help you get ready for law school.