1L, Law School

Why I Decided To Go To Law School

In honor of my third day of 1L, today I’m sharing why I decided to go to law school. Be sure to check out my other posts on everything you need to know about the LSAT and secrets to the law school admissions process!

I have known I wanted to be a lawyer for a while.

Although I started undergrad as a pre-med student, it took me 1 week of bio lab to determine that was not for me. After meeting with an advisor, they suggested I check out the pre-law symposium at my university. I went to one session and immediately scheduled a meeting with the pre-law dean. After that, the rest was pretty much history!

Reading has always been a big part of my life. There was a time in high school where I even considered journalism school because I wanted to be an author. This was probably around the same time I was thinking I would be a Rockette… In college, I was finally introduced to practicing attorneys and learned how much the job revolves around reading AND writing. Add in creative arguing and problem solving, and I could not imagine a more ideal career.

Work and life experience set me on an unprecedented path.

During undergrad, I was lucky enough to hold several legal-related internships and work as a research assistant. After working for a big firm, I knew that was not a world I would be totally happy in. Internship opportunities helped me narrow down the type of law I wanted to focus on: public interest.

However, it was not until my family had a personal experience with the child welfare system that I really honed in on that area. There is a debate surrounding reforming systems at the legislative vs. judicial levels. Personally, I find myself more drawn to the judicial side of things. But, there is a lot of joint advocacy work to be done amongst the legislature and judiciary systems.

Later, I spent several years working as a paralegal focusing on impact litigation in these issue areas. From day 1 I knew that I would do this work for as long as my brain functions. My time working professionally was a huge benefit and I highly recommend that anyone who wants to go to law school spends at least a year doing post-grad work in the legal field. Not only will it help confirm your desire to attend law school, it will give you an insight into the type of work that lawyers do OUTSIDE of going to court or mediation or meetings.

I want to make a difference.

My paralegal experience was transformative. I found myself passionate about an issue area that intersects with prominent topics like juvenile justice, education, healthcare, homelessness, and poverty. (Just to name a few.) But I also knew that there are so many ways a person can make a difference. I could have chosen different advocacy work, policy work, social work etc. But something about the way that we can use our legal system to enact lasting change and reform really speaks to me.

I know the “I want to make a difference” spiel is often over-used, but the truth is I couldn’t imagine working so hard and NOT contributing to reform and change. My “calling” so to speak is to advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. There is NOTHING wrong with wanting to do something different. Plenty of areas of law that are not public interest oriented are interesting and complicated and challenging and rewarding. However, those areas just don’t pique my interest in the same way!

So there you have it! I am so excited to start law school soon. It will definitely be difficult, but I am more than up for the challenge. I hope you’ll continue to follow along as I embark on this new endeavor! Are you going back to school soon? Drop a note in the comments and let me know!