Law School ‘newbies’ are faced with a range of issues and downright fears when it comes to determining whether they have made the right choice about going to law school in the first place, let alone graduating and embarking on a whole new career and life.
But fortunately Renwei Chung, AbovetheLaw’s ‘Diversity Columnist’ made a summary of some key advice from “notable figures” in the legal profession and has been able to provide some insights into what is important.
Amal Clooney, the most famed of all perhaps thanks to husband George quite apart from her own human rights’ law practice.
Her advice: “You don’t need to start your career with a long-term plan, it’s better to see where the work takes you.”
Angela Grayson, the founder of Precipice IP, PLLC,a strategic consultancy and IP specialist law firm. She grew up in Mississippi and worked inhouse for some of America’s largest corporations but driven by her desire to work within the diversity arena and inspired to study law through the inspiration drawn from famed attorney Johnnie Cochran.
Her Advice – “Be hungry. Stay hungry. Stay the course. Much of success is sheer will. Nothing can replace hard work and a good network of people who are willing to mentor and/or sponsor your success. Another thing, don’t forget to be kind to others. Treating people right will pay dividends in the long run.”
Don’t enroll in law school if your ego is fragile. Don’t wear a suit to class. Don’t EVER raise your hand like an obnoxious dork, especially on your first day, but always be prepared for every question, every day.
John G Roberts, Chief Justice
His advice – “Once a week, you should write a note to someone, not an email, a note on a piece of paper. It will take you exactly ten minutes.
“By the end of the school year, you will have sent notes to forty people. Forty people will feel a little more special because you did. And they will think you are very special because of what you did. Now what else is going to carry that dividend during your time at school?”
Chelsea Grayson, Former CEO of American Apparel – She joined the company in 2014 as general counsel and rose to the top roughly two years later having previously spent her entire professional career focusing on mergers and acquisitions at Jones Day and Loeb & Loeb.
Her Advice – This isn’t a profession where you can simply tolerate your job, or where you can dial it in for the paycheck. Lawyers get paid to think — we have to be fully engaged the whole time. But, if you get it right with your career path, you will be incredibly fulfilled. I am.”
Lamar White – Publisher of the progressive Bayou Brief and for more than 11 years, he published CenLamar, one of Louisiana’s most acclaimed and well-known progressive blogs, which has received wide recognition from national and international news organizations.
His advice – “Don’t enroll in law school if your ego is fragile. Don’t wear a suit to class. Don’t EVER raise your hand like an obnoxious dork, especially on your first day, but always be prepared for every question, every day.”
Worth Reading –
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The list is the sort of thing lawyers and law students love, like last year’s Reddit list of 30 Random Tips for Law School
Your 1L Survival Guide: 30 Random Tips for Law School from LawSchool
Advice from Vikram David Amar, Dean and Iwan Foundation Professor of Law at the University of Illinois College of Law and former Professor of Law at the University of California, Davis School of Law, whose faculty he rejoined in 2007 after teaching at UC Hastings for a decade. He has also taught regularly as a visiting professor at UC Berkeley School of Law and at UCLA School of Law.
See his Ten Suggestions for Incoming Law Students