There are some people who have known that they wanted to be lawyers since they were kids, or perhaps met a lawyer in high school or college who encouraged and inspired them to apply to law school. However, that’s not always how life works out.
I didn’t personally know any lawyers growing up. Even though I had always loved to read and write, I never had anyone put those pieces together for me and say that I should consider a career in law. It simply never posed itself as a viable career path. I went through college, studying communications and political science, and ended up at the University of Glasgow in Scotland to get a Master’s Degree in International Politics. It was during my graduate program that I ended up in an International Law course, and something sparked in me every so dimmly.
I moved back to the States and began a career in international higher education. I worked with international students who came to the United States on F-1 visas from up to 40 different countries, and I loved it. I loved helping students sort out complex issues with their immigration status, or just talking to them about adjusting to life in the US. On a different plain, I was doing the sort of work that lawyer’s do for their clients every day: I listened to them, I assessed their options, communicated those options, and advocated for them to USCIS. It was through this job that I also began working with immigration attorneys, whom I frankly realized I was just as smart and capable as. With some deliberation, I decided to take the LSAT and apply to law school.
This was the best decision I could have made for myself. The law opens doors to career paths I could have only imagined having access to prior. It expands your mind in new and exciting ways, but it uses the building blocks of your past education and former career to strengthen those skills. Coming into law school with prior experience allows you to contextualize what you’re learning in deeper ways and makes you appreciate the work you have already done in a new light.
All that to say, is that it can be scary to leave a job or consider taking a huge leap in changing your career path. Three years sounds like a big commitment. However, not only does three years fly by in an environment like law school, if you really want what’s on the other side, there is nothing more worthwhile.