High school students experience increasing freedoms and pressure to make decisions about their future. High school students have an opportunity to choose some of their classes and shape their curriculum to suit their interests and goals.
Many high school students identify career goals before they graduate, enabling them to take advantage of opportunities to prepare for their careers. Read on to explore ways to prepare for your future career if you’re a high school student who wants to become a lawyer.
Interview an attorney.
During high school, you may be assigned to write a feature on a person. Sometimes, students opt to write about a historical figure or someone famous, but this is an excellent opportunity to learn about your chosen profession while completing an assignment.
Identify a successful lawyer in your area and ask to interview them. Talking to experienced attorneys, such as Malliha Wilson, gives you a chance to learn about roles Wilson’s filled during her legal career. Talking to Wilson about her work as the Ontario government’s Assistant Deputy Attorney General and the cases she’s presented before the Supreme Court of Canada will show you some of the different opportunities you can pursue as an attorney. You can also talk to Wilson about the complex litigation she handles as a senior partner for Nava Wilson LLP and learns about the role of human rights and labour law attorneys.
Profiling an attorney’s also a great way to learn about law schools and prepare to earn a law degree. While Wilson earned her undergraduate degree from McGill University, she studied law at Osgoode Hall Law School. Wilson’s on Osgoode Hall’s board, which means she can provide excellent information about preparing a successful law school application.
Talk to your guidance counselor.
Talking to your guidance counselor can help you clarify your career goals and make appropriate academic decisions based on those goals. You can get information from your counselor about classes you can take to strengthen your college applications. They may also know about internship opportunities where you can gain practical experience working in a law firm during your summer break.
Your guidance counselor can also help you access information about colleges, law schools, and scholarship opportunities. The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) offers scholarships for high school students. Learning about their criteria for awarding scholarships can help you set academic goals, so you qualify for scholarships when you graduate.
Your guidance counselor can also explain other financial options, such as student loans. It typically takes seven years to earn your undergraduate degree and a law degree. Preparing for your college expenses ensures you have the funds required to complete school and earn your law license. For example, one way to mitigate some of your college expenses involves taking advanced placement (AP) courses during high school. AP courses count as college credits, enabling students who complete AP courses to reduce the time and money it takes to earn their undergraduate degree.
Pursue extracurricular activities.
Colleges look at more than school transcripts when reviewing applications. Colleges favor students who’ve participated in extracurricular activities. Extracurricular activities include sports, volunteer work, and leadership opportunities. Aspiring lawyers benefit from various extracurricular opportunities such as debate clubs. Trial attorneys need to think on their feet and adjust their legal arguments based on evidence introduced by the prosecution or defense attorneys and witnesses. Participating in debate clubs is a great way to sharpen those skills and strengthen your public speaking skills.
Colleges also favor students with extracurricular interests because maintaining social outlets helps students adjust to college life and form connections with their peers, increasing the likelihood of their success in college.
You can start preparing for your future career as a lawyer when you’re in high school. Developing essential skills, learning about the work lawyers do, and setting academic and extracurricular goals can ensure you’re ready for your future career.