As Student Lawyer turns 50, we take a look at how law students can pursue justice in their careers. This includes career paths big and small, such as legislative work, public interest, and working in pro bono.
Celebrating 50 Years of Student Lawyer
While the specific advice on the usual hurdles law students face has advanced with the times, the thread that remains common to Student Lawyer through the decades is the wealth of practical advice our writers have provided.
How the legislative lawyer changes the world
Few people understand how lawyers who specialize in lawmaking can do groundbreaking and vital work. Here’s a primer on the role of the legislative lawyer in moving policies that can promote social justice.
So you want to work in the public interest?
Law school is a place to explore and learn about the universe of law in all its breadth and depth. It’s where you can seek advice from mentors and narrow in on the type of law to practice. Given the high cost of law school, it’s more important than ever to find a way to explore the practice areas in which you’ll best thrive.
Pro bono experiences these lawyers won’t forget
You’ve heard it over and over: Do pro bono. It’ll give you great experience, and you’ll enjoy it. That’s certainly true, but it doesn’t convey the depth of the satisfaction you can get from helping someone who can’t afford it achieve justice. Here, lawyers share their stories of what, for them, were almost routine legal matters but, for their clients, were life-altering.
7 ways you can improve justice
Justice is such a broad term and a seemingly lofty goal. But improving justice for others doesn’t have to mean only a win before the U.S. Supreme Court on a case that changes lives. Lawyers nationwide are working to provide justice. Here are their suggestions for how you can begin taking action during your law school career to have a greater impact during your legal career.
The anatomy of our oath as attorneys
The road to becoming a practicing attorney is a long and arduous one. After years of law school and months of studying for the bar exam, one more step remains before we’re officially licensed to practice: Every lawyer in the country must be sworn in and take their state’s oath of attorney.
2022 Summer Study Abroad Guide
One of the most rewarding ways to spend your summer as a law student is a study abroad program. Here you’ll find our comprehensive directory of study abroad options for law students. Please check with each school to ensure the program is still scheduled.
How the ABA drives careers
Seeking to learn more about the profession I was about to enter, I joined the ABA. At the time, I didn’t understand how my ABA experience would shape and enhance my career prospects. But it did, and I’m encouraging you to jump into the ABA, too.
Student loan policy: Where do we stand now?
In March 2021, I laid out the state of play for federal student loan policy regarding things like debt cancellation, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and income-driven repayment. Since that time, there has been a mix of action and stagnation on the part of Congress and the Biden administration. So where do we stand?
What happens when a legal career path isn’t right choice for you?
If you choose not to pursue a career in justice, remember that the law isn’t bad—and you’re not bad—it’s just that the fit is wrong. Figure out where you do fit, and then use the amazing skills you gained on the way to becoming a JD to pursue most any path you like.
I Wish I’d Known
Tommy Sangchompuphen: Seeking Help Shows Strength
There needs to be a similar shift in the narrative of mental health in the legal profession. Lawyers and law professors, like me, can help normalize conversations about mental health in the legal profession through leading by example. By sharing my personal story of vulnerability, I hope I can touch just one law student needing help and prevent that person from saying, “I wish I’d known.”
Why it helps to craft a personal mission statement and declare your law school purpose
We have much to work on as a profession. But we also have much to be proud of. What are you committed to working on? And what would make you most proud of if you were looking back on your legal career 20 years from now? What’s in your mission statement?