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Law School Tip: What You Need to Remember When Choosing Classes

Torts or Taxation? Elder Law or Estates? Which law school classes are the right classes to take?

These are the questions you’ll ask yourself during law school.

The right path depends on your interests, goals and even which professors you’re trying to avoid (every law school has a couple curmudgeonly professors, right?).

But there are some guiding principles to crafting course schedules that give students the skills and knowledge needed to get jobs after graduation and that properly prepare you for the bar. Here are three things to remember when choosing classes:

Skills Matter
Sitting in an Ivory Tower thinking deeply about legal concepts and theories has its place in legal education. After all, anyone who intends to practice the law needs to understand why it exists.

But in today’s world where competition for jobs is fiercer than ever, it’s equally important to have the skills to put esoteric theories to work in the real world. Firms large and small are looking to hire law school graduates with tangible skills.

This means you should try to take at least a few classes that help you build the skills every lawyer needs–writing, negotiation and a basic understanding of how transactions work.

Familiarity Breeds Success
Law school isn’t all about building skills and gaining knowledge. It’s also about building your brand. Remember, perception matters, and finishing in the top 10 percent of your class will improve your chances of landing a killer job.

That’s why, when you find a professor you like and in whose class you’ve done well, try to stick with him or her.

Even though most law school professors use the Socratic method, their styles can differ greatly. If you find a professor whose style resonates with you, take more classes from them. Chances are you’ll do well, which is a great way to pad your G.P.A. Plus you’ll be able to establish a good relationship with them, which means a great reference for later work applications.

You Can Build a Better J.D.
If you know which area of law your intend to practice after you graduate, you can build your own “specialized” J.D. by choosing classes that work together to prepare you to practice.

For example, if you’re interested in Indian Law, don’t just take Tribal Law and Federal Indian Law. Take Appellate Law, too (many Indian Law cases end up in the appellate courts). Building your own J.D.–one in which the classes work together–will ensure you’re better prepared to find a job in a specific area.


About the Author
Sumita Dalal is the Founder and CEO of FindMyLawTutor, the largest and most trusted website and online portal that connects law students with law tutors for success in law school. Whether preparing for the LSAT, are currently a law student or are studying for the bar exam, FindMyLawTutor makes finding a law tutor fast and easy.

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