Back for more introspection and regret? Fantastic!
For the second half of this trip down law school regret lane, we thought we'd focus on the things we wish we'd done while in law school.
Take what you will from these parting words of our ten regrets about going to law school:
6. 'I Should Have Taken That Clinic'
Really nothing in law school is better than hands-on experience as a lawyer. Unfortunately, most of law school is legal theory instead of actual practice -- that part is theoretically filled by internships and summer associate positions.
But there are such things as law school clinics. These clinics can provide law students with first-hand experience of practicing in the personal injury, criminal, immigration, and even business law sectors. These clinics usually account for a whole semester's worth of time, but they are truly invaluable.
7. 'I Should Have Taken That Wacky Class'
Wacky probably isn't the best world. Unorthodox? There are a number of classes that law schools offer that aren't in the normal canon of "bar classes" but offer students a breath of fresh air. Yes, it might be a bad idea to take a class where all you do is watch legal movies, but some seemingly wacky courses are really beneficial.
Take it from the only cisgendered male in my Feminist Legal Theory class.
8. 'I Should Have Taken That Practical Class'
The other side of the law school course coin is regret about practical courses. So many lawyers bemoan having such a narrow focus or concentration while neglecting to take practical classes in tax or trademark law. Remember, law school is essentially a vocational school, and you should want to graduate with at least some background in fields which are hiring.
9. 'I Should Have Picked a More Practical Field'
Many law students begin their 1L years with the goals of becoming niche lawyers. That niche might have been in passionate, sexy disciplines like criminal prosecution (or public defense), sports law, or public interest work -- or even be something as mundane as real estate.
Whatever the field, many lawyers now regret not researching that actual market prior to diving headlong into a particular focus. Which often makes for a brutal post-graduation job hunt. Asbestos litigation anyone?
10. 'I Should Have Done More Networking'
Sure, we talk a big game about the oft-dreaded act of networking, but many lawyers (including us) wish they did much more of it. A good legal network can be a safety net or even trampoline during times of employment freefall -- a safeguard which attorneys often regret not reinforcing in law school.
(Sidebar: Real networking and law school "networking events" are not even close to the same.)
Feel that you passed through three years of law school with no regrets? Or regrets to spare? Give us a piece of your mind @FindLawLP.
- 'I Consider Law School A Waste Of My Life And An Extraordinary Waste Of Money' (Business Insider)
- Should New Law Grads Get Networking Cards for Their Job Search? (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- What to Wear to Law School -- Do's and Don'ts (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- Another 'Fix' Law School Proposal: Bar Prep in Third Year? (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)