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Networking

What is networking?  In essence, it’s being friendly with a purpose.  If that sounds crass to you, then, to be blunt, you might want to rethink a career that is based largely on building and maintaining strategic professional relationships. Lawyers can’t adequately represent their clients or...

Lawyer-Alumni and Pre-Law Network

A great many UMass Amherst students considering legal careers don’t know any lawyers personally—none in the family, no family friends, really no one to connect with in the field in order to learn more about the profession.  A great many lawyers who are alumni of UMass Amherst...

Thinking about law school

Why are you thinking about law school?  The most common reasons I hear are some variation of the following: I like to argue. I took Constitutional Law/Legal 250/Civil Liberties/etc. and it was mind-blowing. Law is so fascinating. I want a reliable, interesting job. I want to make...

Optional essays

A handful of law schools offer students the opportunity to write so-called “optional” essays.  For example, Northeastern University School of Law “encourages” (but does not require) you to submit an additional one-page essay telling them either about your commitment to social change, or how you would use their co-ops ...

Criminal records

All law school applications ask about your criminal record. One purpose of these questions is to fulfill the schools’ mandate to ensure that applicants for the Bar are of “good moral character”. Depending on the states in which you eventually apply for law school admission, your application materials may be...

Deciding where to attend

The law schools have made their decisions; now it’s up to you to decide which offer of admission to accept. How do you decide between the prestigious school that offered you no scholarship, and the somewhat less prestigious one that offered you a free ride?  Or between the...

Choosing a Major

Law schools accept students from a wide variety of majors. There is no pre-law major at UMass Amherst, and law schools do not favor (or disfavor) students who major in “pre-law” or a law-related field. If possible, it is a good idea to pursue a double major, or a major...

Legal fields and practice areas

A field or “practice area” of law refers to legal practice relevant to a particular type of law, or, more commonly, a particular industry or business.  Most law relates to business, with a handful of exceptions.  The largest exception is criminal law – the body of law relating to...

Learning more about legal careers

These pages outline only the very barest of information about legal careers.  There are three basic ways to find out more, listed here in declining order of helpfulness:work in one or more law offices, talk to practicing attorneys, and read more detailed descriptions of legal careers. Remember, this...