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So, What Kind of Law Do You Want to Study?

If you are going to law school or talking about going to law school you will get and HATE THIS QUESTION more than any other.

Good news, you don't have to have any idea!

You don't have to know going into law school, and turns out you don't even really have to know while in law school. (Though you should probably know towards the end for interview purposes and such).

Everyone that graduates law school gets a Juris Doctor (J.D. degree). You can opt to get a specialization or not, meaning that the answer to the above question can be "I don't know" literally until you are actually practicing one kind of law.

At first, I would entertain the question and be like "Oh you know, I'm interested in human rights advocacy but I know the money is in blah blah blah" but after saying that four million times I've shorted it to "no idea." Which usually ends the conversation.

However, having an idea is helpful. For example, I don't think I want to do criminal law. Therefore, I am not going to fill my schedule with criminal law-based classes, and I am probably not going to apply for criminal law jobs.

While you certainly don't need to know exactly what you want to do in your first year of law school, it's helpful to rule things out that you don't like as you get a taste for them. This will help narrow down your field.

One way to help figure out what types of law you may be interested in is to speak with lawyers in different fields. Ask them what they like most/least about their job, what they do on a daily basis, if this is what they always wanted to do or if they just happened to end up in the field, etc. People love talking about themselves, and I have found that practicing lawyers enjoy being a resource for rising lawyers. Don't be afraid to reach out!

Updated 3/13/17

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