By Caambridge Horton • September 03, 2019•Writers in Residence, Law School
As a second-year law student, I am often asked what area of the law interests me. This is a daunting question because after a whole year of law school and a summer internship, I still am not sure what area of the law I want to pursue. As I continue to ponder this question, I decided to explore the different ways I can get more exposure to the different areas of law.
Below is a list of approaches to widen exposure to the different practice areas of law.
Many law schools have clinics that serve as a way to get hands-on experience as a law student. The clinics are typically focused on a particular area of the law such as immigration, alternative dispute resolution, landlord-tenant mediation, domestic violence, and a myriad of other issues. Typically, clinics delve into the public interest sector so if you are not sure if a career in public interest is right for you, this is the perfect way to explore those interests.
As a 1L, summer is the perfect way to see the law in practice. There are many summer opportunities such as working in a firm, working for the public defender’s office or district attorney, clerking for a judge, or working for a corporation. In some instances, certain jobs will even allow you to split a summer, meaning you can work for more than one employer. The summer is a great way to explore interests that you might be thinking about and can open your eyes to fields you had no clue about.
Shadowing is a super-easy way to explore different practice areas with a low commitment. This can be as simple as reaching out to an attorney in a practice area you are interested in or reaching out to a judge and asking them if you can sit in on court proceedings.
Legal Aid Organizations
Legal aid organizations are always looking for volunteers. As a law student, these organizations will likely allow you to help directly on a plethora of issues, and this is a way to give back and to get some relevant exposure to different aspects of the law.