Law School Discussion

How did you choose your specialization?

How did you choose your specialization?
« on: January 28, 2009, 02:06:33 PM »
Hi folks,

So I've asked a few people about choosing a specialization or "focus area" in law school, and almost all of them seem to say "don't worry about it, you will figure it out in time, no need to have your heart set on a specific area as you go in"...However, after having gone to an ASW last weekend, I am more nervous together. The students on the panels seemed to have done so much before law school, and knew exactly what they wanted to do. Many of the prospectives that I talked to were the same way.

Me, I just graduated from school, and spent my last two years there working as a teacher of an obscure ancient language...not necessarily the most relevant segue into a law career.

And now that I am really trying to figure out which school to attend, it seems like three years is such a short time to really do any "self-discovery", if you will. I mean, as soon as 1L starts, we're supposed to be looking for summer employment; right after that, we're trying to get a 2L summer job. Doesn't seem like there is any space to build my resume or anything like that.

So, to shorten my rant, am I in trouble? How did you choose your specialization? Anyone have an experience like mine (I was drawn to law school from taking a couple of classes in the law school at my undergrad)? How tough will it be to get a 1L summer job without a very impressive resume?


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Re: How did you choose your specialization?
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2009, 03:00:00 PM »
i still have no clue what my eventual "specialization" will be. a few law firms require (and most don't even require this) you to pick "corporate" or "litigation" before your 2L summer. you'll probably have a decent idea of which area to pursue after 1L year and after talking with a lot of practicing lawyers. even then, plenty of people switch between areas after passing the bar and practicing for a few years.

i hate to echo what everyone is telling you, but seriously, i wouldn't worry about it at this point. at the most, talk to a few practicing attorneys and see what their specialty is about, and maybe what classes they would recommend.


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Re: How did you choose your specialization?
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2009, 10:39:49 AM »
I'll continue the echo - there are some people who think they know exactly what they want to do, but don't take it as absolute truth that they're right.  Plenty of people change their minds during their first year of law school.

Going into 1L year, your only real worry is the answer you have to the casual question "so what do you want to do with your JD?," because it's not like your chosen or not-chosen specialty affects your classes.

I'm a 1L with absolutely no idea what I want to specialize in - I can't even decide between transactional or litigation!  But I'm talking to lawyers, trying new things, and not really worried about it - I'd rather make the most informed choice I can as late in the game as possible than make a choice now and end up doing something I hate.