First and Foremost, choosing law as a career is a commitment that we make that is immensely different from any other stream of education. It is safe to say that the study of law is a never ending process which will start the minute you enter your law school and never really reaches culmination. As a law aspirant you are already on the first leg of this journey. University life for anyone is a period of immense change; you learn and grow immensely as an individual and a professional both and you are never quite the same person who ventured inside the premises of your alma mater when you finally leave. Law School is however much more than that, whether your inspiration is Harvey Specter or Ram Jethmalani, the dream you have envisaged for yourself is quite vividly a suave figure laced with knowledge, wit and confidence. The best part is that Law School offers you all the right tools to make it happen if you are willing to work hard, smart and consistent. Always remember just one thing and that is to carve out of a niche. You stand a chance nowhere in the world if you are just the same as the person standing next to you, you need a unique standing point, a positive demarcating feature. To achieve all this, there are a few key points to be kept in mind.
DRESS THE PART, LOOK THE PART, BECOME THE PART
Starting at the very basic this is the first point to pay heed to. I had read this somewhere, a point that you will find in almost every single self-help book, i.e. dress for the position you want, not the position you are currently at. Recently at the first day for the new academic session a guy at a prominent NLU wore a three piece suit to class. He looked dapper but was ridiculed by his peers and seniors alike for putting so much of effort to make a first good impression. I, however, beg to disagree. In my humble opinion, that guy portrayed on the very first day a glimpse of what he wants to achieve and that brings him that much closer to realizing his dreams than the rest of his peers. Although this isn’t all about the clothes that you were but being well groomed at all times is strongly advised. It puts a dignified impression of you in front of your peers as well as the academic and non academic staff you interact with but also puts you in the right frame of mind.
ACADEMICS DOES NOT EVEN BEGIN TO COVER IT
One thing that every law aspirant needs to understand once they enter law school is that the books and the prescribed curriculum and syllabus is not even 25% of what the law school has to offer and what you need to get done to ensure that the five years that you have spent is worthwhile.
Extra curricular activities are as much a part of your semesters as the law books you need to read therein. Law is an art and a science, ever developing, evolving with a few basics to bank on. Another reason why these extra curricular activities are important is because each activity inculcates a particular skill in you the combination of which is imperative to you having a successful legal career. For example: Moot Courts teach you research and pleading drafting, debates teach you quick argumentative and speaking skills, quizzes teach you how to recollect the plethora of provisions of different acts that you have memorized and so on. You have five years of law school and these are all worth giving a shot. These activities take place in the form of intra and national and international level competitions which increase your confidence and also give you a chance to connect with other law students and professionals which brings us to the next point.
COMMUNICATION AND NETWORKING SKILLS
Law and Business have one thing in common, they are all about the knowledge and the people associated with it, more importantly the people. If you are someone that is shy or plagued with social inhibitions it is strongly advised that you start preparing to shed those. If you know the right people and have solid contacts in the legal industry, it will always give you an edge over your peers. These contacts help you keep abreast of all the current happenings in the industry as well as open doors of opportunities for you which if exhausted properly can help you propel your career into a winning trajectory.
INTERNSHIPS AND WORK EXPERIENCE
While other streams of education demand you to possibly intern in the last year of college or have experience post college before your Masters, Law is one stream where the demand of internships and work experience is as crucial as good grades in academics if not more so. This brings to you both the responsibility and the opportunity to learn while you study. Indulging in meaningful internships wherein you learn according to your interests and acquire out of classroom skills is vital owing to law being such a pragmatic branch of education.
RESEARCH AND CONSTANT LEARNING
Internships are to be engaged in semester breaks and this does not mean that the rest of the year around you do not have to work on your research and writing skills. From writing research papers to participating in seminars and conferences, doing running internships in research positions, every law student must continuously work towards creating curriculum vitae that illustrates an enviable research and writing palate. This helps in constant learning and helps you engage in activities that keep your legal knowledge and interpretation at an all time high.