4 Tips for Pre-Law Students at TWC

4 Tips for Pre-Law Students at TWC

If you’re considering going into law, you’re probably crazy - at least, according to pretty much every piece of advice I’ve been given since I got here. Luckily, it seems like I’m just the right amount of crazy, and so that advice hasn’t swayed me in the slightest from my decision to go to law school.


The path of a potential law student has been a unique one here at The Washington Center. There are definitely some things I wish I’d known before coming into it. While I just took the LSAT yesterday and it’s too late for me to take most of these tips, I thought I’d pass them along for any of my fellow crazy, law-bound future TWC students.


1. LSAT Resources


When I first started studying for the LSAT, it seemed like there were a million different resources and all of them cost an arm and a leg. It began to feel like I couldn’t get a good score without shelling out my entire savings account. As I got further along in studying and talked to some of the people around me, I began to realize that those people had resources to share. Older friends that have already taken the LSAT, professors, and even my internship supervisor all had practice tests, old prep books, and other study tips that have helped me a lot in the long run. Don’t be afraid to ask around - you’ll save yourself a lot of stress and money in the process.


2. Networking Events


When you’re a new young professional, it can feel impossible trying to break into that tight-knit circle of lawyers that you (or maybe it was just me) imagine to wear suits, sip champagne, and look down their noses at the college kid trying to get a few tips and maybe make a few connections. In reality, a lot of professionals in the field want to help you. They remember being the college kid that you are now, and they’re willing to give advice and connect you with other people. You just have to ask, because no one can give you something unless they know you need it. Take advantage of the many networking events offered by The Washington Center - the events calendar is your friend.


3. Talk to your peers


You’re not the only person planning on law school here, and your peers may have useful advice to offer you. You never know which person in your evening course happens to have every single practice test in existence for the LSAT on their thumb drive, or which other intern at your site knows a lawyer who you’d love to add to your network. Just as importantly, your peers will also be able to offer you encouragement. It’s a tough path to law school, and sometimes you need someone saying ‘You’ve got this’ more than you need any prep course. At the same time, remember that what works for them may not work for you, so don’t get nervous if you find yourself doing things a little differently.


4. Take advantage of your environment


If you love the law and the field, then there’s no better city to be in then Washington, D.C. That doesn’t just extend to networking events, either. There are panels, roundtables, law school open houses, and events of every kind here for you to broaden your perspective. Just last week, I got to attend an event where I learned more about mediation in death penalty cases through an organization called Advancing Real Change, or ARC. It was an aspect of law I’d never really considered before, and I got to talk to lawyers and other professionals who gave me valuable perspective on law school as well as alternative law-related careers. Opportunities like that are what really makes living in Washington D.C. valuable, so take advantage of them.


Photo taken at ARC's 'Eat, Drink and Do Justice' informational event


I hope these tips offer a little guidance to anyone feeling lost in their law school journey. A lot of people may tell you while you’re here that law school is a mistake, or that you should consider other options. Take that advice into consideration when you’re making your decision, but also take it with a grain of salt.


For some people, those words are exactly what they need to hear, to make them reconsider a path that maybe isn’t right for them. For me, they’ve only been more motivating, a message that I’m determined to prove wrong when I get my law school admissions letters in a few months. Everything here, good or bad, is a part of the journey, no matter where the end destination ends up being.


Read Colleen's previous blog posts

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