By now you all have made various resolutions for 2021, and have heard from your professors, friends, family members, mentors, and well-wishers as to how you can be a great law student and a prosperous lawyer. I do not mean to undermine any of those resolutions or suggestions but what I have below are few suggestions from my 5 years in law school. All of these suggestions are tried and tested. The purpose why you should read these ten points is that I have crashed many times trying to implement these suggestions myself and neglected most often than not and then lamented that at various stages of my law school.
These are the Top 10 ways to succeed as a law student in 2021:
1. Online Courses:
Why: Firstly, law schools will not teach you each and everything, and Indian law schools are surely not furnished to teach courses related to Open Source Intelligence (OSINT certification).
Secondly, these courses will also encourage you to show your interest in the specific domain of law for internship applications, job applications or for any other opportunity. All your mates will be studying the courses offered in the law school, they will also be interning just like you and will also compete in various national and international competitions.
If not for the internships and other events then do it for fun and knowledge. I did my first online course quickly after joining law school in 2013 and today, even though I graduated last year, I am still actively continuing 2 online courses attending few hours of online classes on a daily basis. I promise you that you will never regret investing your time in an online course if chosen wisely and strategically.
2. Read more and take concern in emerging technologies related to the legal domain.
You do not have to certainly love mathematics, physics, computer science or chemistry to do this. It is not that hard to understand these technological advancements and their suggestions on law and legal system. With all the possible online resources at your disposal and video demonstrations and lectures on YouTube, you should not be making an excuse. There are technologies which are influencing the legal sector in a big way. The current legal business is no longer the same as it used to be 10 years back. The world is evolving due to the recent progress in technology and so the description of required candidates.
3. Participate in a variety of competitions during your law school.
Please don’t limit yourself to moots. The skills that you gain from mooting are essential, but mooting is not a silver weapon for being an efficient lawyer. Involve yourself in conflicts related to negotiation and mediation. Do some discussions and client counseling competitions. Change your competition participation experience.
Each type of meetings will need you to hone a different set of skills, meet people from different background, and all of this will advance you into a more mature law student and a lawyer.
4. Write and Research More:
This will help you in raising your legal analysis and writing Persuasion. These are the 2 most crucial skills that every lawyer should have. Start writing blogs for various platforms or regularly publish on LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform.
Research + Writing + Publication = Credible visibility.
You know that Indian Advocates Act does not allow an advocate to advertise but horribly, if you are not visible, then you do not survive in today hyper-competitive market. So the idea that advertising serves can be fulfilled by publishing proper researched and carefully drafted legal articles and blogs.
The practice of writing will also improve your critical thinking and will force you to stay updated about recent development on the issues that you are writing on.
5. Use LinkedIn:
I do not need to lecture you on how to create a decent LinkedIn profile. There are thousands of pieces written on this topic. Nevertheless, what I want to emphasize is that LinkedIn is a great platform to combine with the leading legal practitioners, and to secure job and internships. Greatest of the Law Firms and lawyers are very active on LinkedIn. The application method for my current job started from LinkedIn where I submitted my CV. Trust me, LinkedIn will be more helpful for your professional and thoughtful health compared to Instagram or Snapchat.
6. Try to aim for 3-1 Rule
Technically speaking, there is no such rule I just wrote it in that way because it looked intriguing. What I want to convey here is that take interest in every subject that is taught to you in law school but be good in at least 3 subjects and catch a firm grip on at least 1 subject.
I won’t suggest you specialize in just 1 subject say competition law or IPR. Firstly, because you are able of doing more than that. Secondly, it is not proceeding to be of great help when you enter the job market. If you know one area of law well but not confident is any other domain of law then your marketability will decrease, the chances available for you will shrink.
The time of specialization is prolonged gone. Now corporations want their lawyer to be excellent in the law of their business domain, but at the same time, they also want their advocates to be able to handle related issues effectively.
7. Keep volunteering for a social cause that you strongly feel about.
It can be child labor, women’s right, labor rights, animal rights, environment etc.
To be a law scholar is a privilege. There are lakhs of people in India who are sustaining because of some or other issue and law provide a direct or indirect solution to the bulk of those problems. In the event to be a top scorer in law school, secure top firm internships, win prestigious moots and take a well-paying job we seldom ignore the purpose of life. Volunteer for a cause and I promise you that it will give you more mental peace compared to a monthly six-figure paycheck from your law firm or all prizes and recognition from moots and academic excellence.
8. Improve Public Speaking Skills:
Public speaking is a significant skill that a lawyer needs even if he/she is not going to function before the court. It gives you faith and strength to explain your thought in the best possible manner. You might have the best arguments in your mind, but if you cannot express them passionately and persuasively, then they are of no use.
One way to start achieving on the fear of your public speaking is by participating in Research Paper presentation. A lot of schools are organizing legal seminar/conference where they invite law students to perform their papers. This will help you in assessing where you stand, what needs to be fixed and how other law students were presenting their papers and learn from their experience.
9. Have Empathy
Persisting through a law school is not an easy task. You have to dispense with the expectation of your parents, professors, and friends. You will be in the regular hunt for internships. You will be endlessly preparing for your next contests and at the same time trying to finish your readings for next day’s classes. So this list goes on and there are good chances that this kind of chaos will be expecting for you when you enter the professional domain. Don’t ignore that you are a human being before a head aspiring lawyer. Help others and actively seek help whenever in demand.
10. Have Fun.
Although this is the last proposal, nevertheless, it is more significant than all 9 suggestion that I discussed above. Had I began my article with this point first you would have never perceived me seriously and wouldn’t even bother to click on the link. Keep in mind, you will be spending a half-decade of your life in a law institution, and all the above plans are useless if you do not enjoy this significant part of your life. Possessing fun does not necessarily mean that you have to go to pubs or exotic locations for vacation. Simplistic stuff like sitting in sunlight through winters with a cup of tea and few friends around also fall within the definition of fun. If you have a fancy like sketching, painting, sports or music then hold it tightly, don’t let law school snatch that valuable thing from you. Never trade anything that you enjoy with that one extra moot that you could participate or prepare for, it will never be worth it.