So You Want to Go to Law School: Here are 10 Tips to Help You Get There
Written by Natasha Bhimji (Prasaud)
Sunday October 1, 2023
As we embark on a new school year, many students are contemplating their next steps in their academic journeys. That contemplation will lead many students to consider law school who will begin to wonder what that application process looks like alongside future career planning.
As a lawyer who has worked in talent management for over a decade, here are some tips and best practices I would encourage you to consider if you are thinking about attending law school.
1 Network, network, network!
Right now, you might think you know you want to be a lawyer… but what does that mean? There are so many different practice areas and fields, that an important part of your reflection stage will be to think about what types of law you would like to practice, while also leaving room for you to change your mind as you go through the course of your career. Meeting lawyers in different practices will help you to focus on your personal statement when you complete your application process. P.s. Feel free to reach out to lawyers and law students directly via LinkedIn to find out about their experiences..
2 Time to Prepare for the LSAT
My best tip for tackling the LSAT might sound simple but I suggest timed practices. You also shouldn’t worry if you have to write the LSAT more than once, because most schools will take your top score. Plus, once you get into law school, no one will ever ask you for your LSAT score!
3 It’s Not As Glamorous As It Seems
While shows like Suits really tend to glamourize the legal practice, it’s not necessarily an accurate representation of the day-to-day. If your decision to pursue law has been heavily influenced by television, you might want to really make sure you’ve done your due diligence to ensure this is something you truly want to explore.
4 Yes, You Need Good Grades
Grades are table stakes, and of course, you need to have a strong academic background in order to get into law school. But…see my next tip for more on this.
5 But, Grades Aren’t Everything
While grades are important, your extracurriculars, work experience and background are also important. Most law schools will take a holistic approach when reviewing applications, so make sure you do not self-censor your application package because you think a certain profile is what the law school is looking for.
6 Keep an Open Mind
While traditional legal practice is incredibly fulfilling and intellectually stimulating, there are many excellent careers that a law degree opens up doors for- such as management consulting, talent management and policy work to name a few!
7 Broaden Your Horizons
All of the Canadian law schools are excellent, so don’t limit yourself! Doing this will open up doors you may not have ever considered. This might also give you the opportunity to travel around the country or globally. For me, I took the opportunity to travel to Halifax where I attended Dalhousie University and had the best time! A word of caution if you do end up going to law school outside of Canada, there are additional hoops you will have to go through in order to get licensed in back Canada that will prolong entering the workforce.
8 Take Some Much Needed ‘Me Time’
Consider taking time off between your undergrad and law school. It gives you the opportunity to work, mature, and even travel. It isn’t necessary to jump straight into law school, you will be working for a long time, so taking a bit of a breather can help in the long run.
9 Seek Financial Support
Law school is expensive, but with a little time spent researching you’ll discover a number of options like scholarships, bursaries, and other financial assistance tools that can ease the pressure on your bank account!
10 Have Fun
The application process often comes with a lot of stress and anxiety, remember to be kind to yourself and keep in mind that this is just the beginning of something amazing. Be confident and trust yourself, you got this!
About the Author
Natasha Bhimji (Prasaud) is the Director, Associate Programs (Interim) and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Stikeman Elliott LLP. Prior to this role, she was the Director, Student Programs where she was responsible for hiring law students from across the country. She went to law school herself, having attended the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University.