Looking to gain some experience before law school? Keep reading for our list of the best pre-law jobs.
Are you considering law school after graduation? Are you unsure what type of work experience will best prepare you for a career in law? Gaining practical pre-law experience can give you a leg up when it comes to applying to law school and securing legal employment down the road.
We'll explore some of the best pre-law jobs for students, including roles in the legal field and beyond. From working as a paralegal to a ski instructor, there are a variety of opportunities that can help you develop the skills and knowledge you need to succeed as a future lawyer.
So, let's dive in and discover which job might be right for you!
Besides securing a stellar GPA and LSAT score, gaining valuable work experience can be a great way to prepare for law school. But what are the best jobs for pre-law students? Truthfully, there isn’t a “one size fits all” answer, but there are several jobs worth pursuing as a pre-law student. Here are a few options you can consider before law school.
A paralegal is to a lawyer, as a nurse is to a doctor. They are paraprofessionals who assist lawyers with tasks related to preparing case documents, interviewing clients, or fact-checking legal documents.
Be mindful that becoming a paralegal does not improve your chances of getting admitted into law school. However, it can be a worthwhile occupation for pre-law students, as you’ll learn how to interact with lawyers and gain experience working with diverse clientele.
Teaching is a noble profession that offers a unique learning opportunity for pre-law students. As a tutor, you can pick up plenty of skills that will serve you well as a future legal professional. For example, you can fine-tune your attention to detail by grading assignments!
Tutoring can also help you develop analytical and presentation skills that are crucial for lawyers, who need to be able to analyze complex information and present it clearly to clients, judges, and juries.
Alternatively, if you’re feeling adventurous, teaching abroad is a fun way to work with students while traveling the world. Students can even be teaching leaders back home through well-known programs like Teach for America.
Answering phones and filing documents for eight hours a day may not be the most glamorous tasks, but they are essential for maintaining effective communication and organization within an office. These tasks require attention to detail, strong management abilities, and the ability to work well under pressure, which are all valuable skills for a future lawyer.
Believe it or not, jobs in sales are excellent pre-law jobs! They can help you gain experience with maintaining client relations, working in a corporate environment, and collaborating under tight deadlines, which will come in handy in law school!
Other great jobs in the legal field are those that allow you to work closely with lawyers! Though it’s tempting to assume, legal assistants are not identical to paralegals! Paralegals perform legal tasks on behalf of an attorney’s office, while legal assistants tackle administrative-related duties and clerical work.
It’s common for legal assistants to schedule appointments for lawyers and their clients, answer customer inquiries, or process invoices. Pre-law students who work as legal assistants can gain experience working in a corporate environment and develop vital skills related to multitasking, project management, and customer service.
Working in retail forces you to learn valuable soft skills related to customers. Whether you work as a cashier in a grocery store or an inventory clerk in a clothing boutique, retail will help you hone your communication skills. Typically, retail work involves working as a team, interacting with different kinds of customers, and meeting tight deadlines!
Another excellent option is working for a startup company. This job can offer you a unique experience that differs from working at a larger corporation. These companies are typically smaller and require their employees to “wear different hats.”
You’ll have the opportunity to tackle diverse tasks, learn new concepts, and work closely with your team members. By the time you get into law school, group work will be a breeze!
Who said you needed to pursue a job in the legal field as a pre-law student? Plenty of law school students are employed in positions like bakers, engineers, dancers, and ski instructors. If you love working with different people, enjoy the outdoors, and have already gained certification, this may be an enjoyable pre-law job for you!
Ski instructors can also chase slopes in countries like Canada, France, Austria, Italy, Japan, and Switzerland. Before buckling down to study during law school, why not spend your pre-law years working and traveling abroad?
Fundraising coordinators acquire valuable pre-law skills, such as customer relations, communication, and teamwork, while supporting a cause they believe in.
As a fundraising coordinator, you can work to pay the bills while raising awareness for a cause that resonates with you. There are plenty of charities and non-profit organizations in need of fundraising coordinators, from local animal shelters to well-known international charities.
Other jobs to consider prior to law school are those that can enhance your writing skills. You can search for roles as a content or copywriter/editor for various companies. You may even have the chance to become a copywriter or editor for a law firm, which will expose you to legal jargon and help you to become familiar with its nuances.
As a research assistant, you'll have the opportunity to delve into a wide range of topics and explore areas of law that pique your interest. Working closely with experienced scholars and professors, you'll gain firsthand exposure to the research process, learning how to conduct thorough investigations and analyze complex ideas.
The best pre-law schools will offer diverse opportunities to assist with research efforts at your college that can turn into paid positions!
You’ll likely spend a lot of time in the library as a law student, so why not get used to it and gain valuable experience along the way? You'll develop essential research and organizational skills, vital for law school and your future legal practice.
Working in a library environment will also expose you to vast legal resources, helping you become adept at navigating databases and sources!
Data analysis is not just for tech wizards! Joining this profession can do wonders for your legal career by enhancing your ability to analyze complex information, make data-driven decisions, and recognize patterns. You’ll also hone your critical thinking skills!
As a camp counselor, you'll refine your leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills while mentoring young campers. It's a perfect chance to work on your teamwork and interpersonal skills!
There is no perfect response to this question because the truth is: the best pre-law jobs for students vary greatly depending on your individual interests, needs, and aspirations. If you’re trying to choose the “right” job for you, be mindful of these considerations:
Are you interested in technology or medicine? Then explore pre-law school professions related to fields like medical devices or pharmaceuticals. Working as a paralegal is also a great choice for students interested in employment law.
As a pre-law student, it’s not a necessity to work in a job related to law to succeed in law school. Successful law school applicants come from different educational and occupational backgrounds, many with zero work experience in the legal field.
Ultimately, students should look for a job that offers transferable skills, which can prove valuable not only in law school but also in their future endeavors.
Networking is an important asset for many fields and not just in law. However, making connections as a pre-law student is vital for future success. While gaining working experience before law school, find time to make genuine professional connections, whether it’s at work or at networking events.
The best jobs to pursue before law school are those that genuinely interest you! Law school graduates often recommend finding a job that aligns with your interests and provides enjoyment before embarking on the rigorous journey of law school. Also, given how expensive law school can be, it doesn’t hurt to have a job that will pay the bills!
Do you have burning questions about jobs for pre-law students? Look no further than our answers to these frequently asked questions!
Yes, it can matter whether your pre-law job is paid or unpaid. While both types of jobs can provide valuable experience, paid jobs may offer additional benefits such as financial compensation, professional development opportunities, and a stronger network of connections.
However, ultimately the most important factor is the quality and relevance of the experience gained in the job, regardless of whether it is paid or unpaid.
Some law schools look favorably upon students with work experience. Law schools like Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law emphasize the importance of real-world work experience.
Over 90% of Northwestern’s students have at least one year of full-time work experience under their belt. Such schools believe that full-time work develops a student’s maturity and focus to complement their law school education.
However, work experience is only one part of a law school’s admission process. Ultimately, a student’s acceptance into a law school program depends on their GPA, LSAT score, recommendation letters, and personal statements.
Working at a law firm will not necessarily help you get into law school. Law schools often accept students who come from different career paths and experiences. Personal statements and letters of recommendation also play a role in an applicant's admission to law school.
If you have time to pursue work before law school, it can be very beneficial! It will provide you with valuable practical experience, enhance your skills, help you make more informed decisions about your legal career, and differentiate your law school application!
All of these benefits combined can help you get into a more prestigious law school which will open more doors of possibility for you to work in BigLaw!
The truth is, there is no cookie-cutter answer to the question: “which are the best jobs for pre-law students?” There are many great jobs available that can provide students with valuable experience and skills for their future legal careers.
From working as a paralegal to an office administrator, the key is to find a job that aligns with your interests and career goals. By pursuing one of these pre-law jobs, students can gain valuable experience and knowledge that will help them stand out in law school and beyond.