Updated: Jan 22, 2022
The first-generation law student faces many challenges, but there are also many opportunities. The first-generation law student has grown up in a family that has never studied law and did not have any exposure to the legal profession. The first-generation law student comes from a different background, with different perspectives and experiences. The challenges can be overcome with persistence and hard work, but it requires a lot of self-awareness and self-discipline. They have to deal with the pressure of being a minority and balancing their personal and professional lives.
This article will talk about how to ace your career as a first-generation law student.
Choosing your Niche
If you are in your starting or mid sems, then read about different laws, practice areas as much you can. Don't limit yourself to one niche if you haven't explored other options. The stage of Choosing your niche should be in last year of your degree as by that time you may have read about various law subjects and during that period make sure you have an idea about other practice areas by way of doing internships, talking to persons working in different field and doing your research. It is important for law students to have an idea about what they want to do after they graduate because it will help them narrow down their search for a masters degree program and applying for a career in that field.
Doing Research, adding publications
Writing research papers is an integral part of law student academic life. It is a process that can be daunting to many students because of the time and effort that it requires. However, there are many benefits to writing research papers that make the process worth it in the end.
Research papers can help you improve your writing, research and analytical skills by forcing you to organize your thoughts and arguments in a logical manner. They also provide you with an opportunity to explore topics that interest you while meeting deadlines and providing feedback for your work. Another benefit of research paper is that it provides strength to your cv.
For Eg:- If you are applying for an Intellectual Property role in any firm and have research paper publications in IP, definitely your profile will be taken seriously by HR because research papers themselves are credible proof that the candidate possesses domain authority in the subject as he/she has devoted time for researching for writing paper and have passed the editorial board review process of the concerned journal.
LinkedIn is a social networking site specifically for professionals. It is one of the most popular sites for job seekers and recruiters to find new employees. The site has over 575+ million users, with more than 175 million of them being active monthly. Lawyers are one of the most popular professions on LinkedIn. They are followed by teachers, engineers, doctors, and accountants. LinkedIn is a social networking site that can be used to find new job opportunities, connect with professionals in the field, or just learn more about what prospective employers are looking for. Law students can use LinkedIn to share their experiences and skills with potential employers.
Law students are advised to have an updated profile on LinkedIn. They should include their law school, internships, publications, awards, and extracurricular activities. It's also important for them to connect to people in their niche area, interact with them, engage in their posts, and enter discussions. Build better connections and wait for the right time to ask for any opportunity.
Networking is the most important skill to have for law students. It can help them get internships, jobs, and even mentors. They should start networking as early as possible and continue throughout their career. Networking is the process of developing social connections for the purpose of getting something done. It is all about building relationships with people you meet in person or online so they can provide you with help in some way. Attend as many offline and online events (conferences, seminars, masterclasses, webinars, etc.). Connect with people over there, start discussions, exchange contact information, try to find them on Linkedin to connect with them and stay in touch.
Internships allow you to interact and introduce yourself to people of your age having the same field of interest or authoritative people in the law field with respect to knowledge and experience. An internship can teach you various skills like teamwork, time management, maintaining a controlled environment with your co-interns, and patience. Take help of your connections from networking, Linkedin and also apply to the firms/individuals inviting internship applications to gain practical exposure.
Blogging is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field. It can also be a great way to help others understand the law. Blog posts are generally easier to read than textbooks, which means they are more likely to be shared. Law students should start blogging as soon as possible so they can build their audience before they graduate. Blogging is a great way for law students to get their name out there and share their thoughts on various topics. It is also a great way to make connections with other students in the field. Start writing content on your niche to create a digital identity of yours and establish yourself in the field. Invite guest authors to contribute to your blog, take interviews/podcasts to connect with experts in field.
Lastly, your CV is the identity that reaches HR before you in person, to increase your chances of getting shortlisted for an interview you should take care about the following:-
Have multiple resumes for different niches, you can differentiate them highlight the achievements, publications, internships, work experience, etc, in that field.
Have publications related to the practice you are applying for.
Include internship, work experiences, and short-term courses relating to the role you are applying for so as to create domain authority of your in that subject area.
Always describe the work profile (in pointers) of your past internship or work experiences.
Follow the above steps, most importantly consistency and hard work are the keys to success in this field. Take pride in choosing Law as a career, the profession that every industry look for advice and running their business smoothly. All the Best!