what to do in high school if you want to be a lawyer

by Jarret Brekke 10 min read

  • Academics. Building a solid academic foundation is perhaps the best thing you can do to prepare for a legal career while you are still in high school.
  • Extracurricular Activities. Lawyers need effective communication skills to deliver a persuasive argument, and they need to be able to do so while speaking in front of a large audience at ...
  • Internships and Jobs. Though you may not yet qualify to work as a summer associate or another legal intern, you can get a job working in a legal environment even ...
  • Research. You may not yet be ready to apply for law school, but you can start researching your options while you are in high school.

Full Answer

How to become a lawyer in high school?

Oct 05, 2021 · Any high school activity that involves public speaking, such as a debate club, can help you work on the verbal skills you need to be a lawyer. Aside from allowing you to practice correct and well-enunciated speech, a debate club can also help you practice analyzing the pros and cons of people with opposing viewpoints and give you the confidence to speak in front of …

What should I major in to become a lawyer?

Even in high school, you can start laying the academic foundation that will help you succeed as a law student and a lawyer, and you can participate in extracurricular activities and job programs...

How can I prepare for Law School?

No particular high school courses are needed to become a lawyer. Instead you need to take one step at a time. The first step is to get accepted into college. Keep your high school grades up and participate in extracurricular activities. In the US, law school is a graduate program, so the next step would be to complete a bachelor’s degree.

What extracurricular activities should I do to become a lawyer?

Jan 07, 2017 · Indiana University advises that high school students interested in a career in law should “develop skills in writing, analysis, critical thinking, and research. They should develop a broad understanding of the world around them, and …


How to become a lawyer in high school?

Because much of a lawyer’s practice involves communicating, courses that build vocabulary help. Students also should take classes that look at how human behavior interacts with institutions. That includes sociology, political science, psychology and history. Science and math classes sharpen analytical thinking. Coursework that trains students to read large amounts of information is vital. Stick with honors or advanced placement courses and read as much as possible to prepare for the rigors of law school. It's also important to keep your grade-point average high so that you have your choice of colleges and eventually law school.

Does the Department of Justice offer internships?

The U.S. Department of Justice offers high school students both paid and unpaid internships, through which students can learn about legal careers with the federal government.

What are the duties of a lawyer?

Their exact duties and responsibilities are: 1 Providing expert advice to clients regarding potential legal issues that they may expose themselves to or ongoing litigations 2 Analyzing all documents involved in a legal case against their clients, such as witness accounts, police reports, accident reports and other official documents 3 Using their knowledge of the law to find passages and precedents that may then be used in the defense of their clients 4 Working with their clients to develop the most appropriate strategy for each situation, based on the particularities of each legal case 5 Preparing various civil legal documents, such as wills, deeds and contracts 6 Appearing in court before a judge and using legal rhetoric to defend their clients' interests

What is a lawyer?

Lawyers, also called attorneys, are tasked with advising their clients and representing them in civil and criminal cases. Their responsibilities span from simply offering legal advice to preparing legal documents on behalf of the client and ultimately representing the client in front of a court of law.

What are the skills required to become a lawyer?

Close reading and reasoning. Lawyers often need to quickly familiarize themselves with relatively large passages of previously unknown text, so classes that involve reading literature very important for developing these skills.

Why is it important to study English in high school?

Excelling in high school English language and literature classes can help aspiring lawyers develop their spoken and written communication skills as well as their comprehension abilities. As many law schools require applicants to submit an essay before admission, working on your English skills is crucial for improving the odds ...

What do lawyers need to know?

Lawyers generally need to have extensive knowledge of any subject that can describe and influence society, such as economics, history, politics, government affairs and other similar ones. Taking a social studies class can help you understand concepts like how laws and regulations are made, how legal procedures and precedents work and other similar concepts that are vital for successfully practicing law.

How long does it take to get a Juris Doctor degree?

You can earn a Juris Doctor degree by graduating from a law school that's accredited by the American Bar Association, which takes three years. During law school, you can choose to focus on one particular area of the law, such as criminal, environmental, tax, property, real estate or family. Pass the bar exam.

Why is math important in law?

Therefore, mathematics is an important aspect of the job, as the skills you acquire when learning how to solve math problems are usually transferrable to several aspects of the law.

What do lawyers need to be successful?

Lawyers need effective communication skills to deliver a persuasive argument, and they need to be able to do so while speaking in front of a large audience at times. The Chicago Bar Association recommends participating in activities such as student government. Debate club and other activities that require public speaking are also good choices. Moot court competitions and summer camps are available for high school students. For example, the National High School Moot Court Competition takes place in Washington, D.C., each year and brings together teams from all over the country. The University of Texas at El Paso holds High School Law Camp in the summer that includes three weeks of law instruction, moot court competition, and skills preparation.

How to prepare for legal career while in high school?

Building a solid academic foundation is perhaps the best thing you can do to prepare for a legal career while you are still in high school. According to the University of South Carolina website, the most crucial skills students need are reading and comprehending huge amounts of information and the ability to think critically and write objectively and persuasively. Therefore, the university recommends that students challenge themselves academically by taking honors or advanced placement courses along with reading as much as possible.

Can I work as a summer associate in law?

Though you may not yet qualify to work as a summer associate or another legal intern, you can get a job working in a legal environment even as a high school student. For example, the Department of Justice reports that federal agencies offer unpaid training opportunities to high school students. Student volunteers perform clerical duties and similar tasks while learning about the legal profession. Local law offices may also be willing to hire high school students for clerical work while also providing mentoring.

Is law a competitive career?

Law is an extremely competitive career path with top law schools being among the most competitive programs of any academic path.

Why is there no prescribed path to law school acceptance?

Because there is no prescribed path to law school acceptance, you have a little more liberty in your choices for summer activities. Essentially, anything that builds relevant skills, creates a stronger college application, or allows you to explore your possible career path is a great fit.

What is a service project?

Service projects are always a great choice of summer activity, regardless of your intended career path. These types of community-oriented activities demonstrate your commitment to selfless causes and, when chosen mindfully, can fit seamlessly into your academic profile.

Is there a requirement for law school?

There is no pre-determined path or prescribed prerequisite undergrad work for law school acceptance, which means there is certainly no requirement for high school extracurriculars, which will be so distant by the time you submit your law school applications that they are unlikely to figure much in your admissions decision.

Is law school competitive?

Law school is not only exceptionally competitive. It’s exceptionally expensive too, and there is no guarantee that you will come out of law school with a job. For that reason, you’ll need to be ready to hit the ground running when you finish your law degree.

Is it too early to take the LSAT?

High school is admittedly way too early to begin preparing for the LSAT explicitly, but it’s not too early to begin becoming a standardized test master.

What is constant writing?

Constant Writing. Words are a lawyer’s tool of the trade. Attorneys are expected to be good writers as well as excellent speakers. Trial attorneys will need to master oral and written persuasion as they argue motions, try cases, take depositions, and draft various legal pleadings.

What is public speaking?

Public Speaking. As an attorney, public speaking is a part of your day-to-day life. You'll present information to clients, juries, judges, arbitrators, opposing counsel, witnesses, boards, and colleagues. Trial lawyers present information in the courtroom. Corporate attorneys must be at ease in the boardroom.

How many hours do lawyers work?

This isn't a requirement for all lawyers, but some value-conscious clients might expect you to be accessible around the clock. Most lawyers work full time, and many work more than 40 hours per week. 9  Lawyers who work in public interest venues and academia might have more forgiving schedules, but they often trade high salaries for a better work-life balance.

What are the skills required to practice law?

Logical reasoning and critical-thinking skills are essential to the practice of law. Analytical skills are necessary for all practice areas, whether you're structuring a multi-million-dollar deal or developing a trial strategy. You might enjoy being an attorney if you like logic puzzles, research, and critical thinking.

What do you like about being an attorney?

You might enjoy being an attorney if you like logic puzzles, research, and critical thinking. If logical reasoning doesn't come naturally, you can still develop those skills over time. You might take classes in logic or pick up logic puzzles to hone your skills.

What is client development?

Client Development. Most law firm attorneys are responsible for client development. Compensation, bonuses, draws, and partnership opportunities are frequently based on an attorney’s ability to bring in business for the firm, at least in part. 10 . If you choose to work for a law firm, you must excel at marketing yourself ...