Law School Life: How to Make Yourself More Employable

Five years is a lot of time.

If you invest one lakh rupees in mutual funds, in five years, it is likely to get you a 10% benefit per year (on average). Any person can transform into a ripped muscle factory in five years. An infant who cannot drink water starts to gouge on chocolates in five years.

The point I am trying to make is that a lot can change in five years, a lot can be created in five years and a lot can be destroyed in five years.

When a law student goes to law school, she carries two bags with her. One bag full of luck and an empty bag for skills, the idea is to fill the bag of skills before the luck runs out. Irrespective of the college or university, there are a lot of things that can be done in law school apart from what the University asks you to do.

There are two ways in which you can spend your law school life. You can either whine about the lack of opportunities, nepotism in the industry and constant rejection or you can do something about it slowly but steadily.

What can we do?

You need to ask yourself the following questions.

  • What are the skills required to become a good advocate?
  • What are the skills that the firms seek?
  • What is the difference between the guy being hired and the guy being rejected?
  • What can be done to bridge the gap between the two guys?

Once you have asked yourself these questions, you will have a lot more clarity about the plan of action than when you started. Do not think of it as an overnight exercise. There is no guarantee that it WILL get you that job you want so badly. However, slowly and steadily, you can weed out those reasons of rejection.

Consider this, you have five years in your hands, two hours of work every day can take you a long way towards success.

Work on your Public Speaking

You may be great at academics, you may have great ideas too but they are not going to make a mark as long as you are unable to communicate them. Public speaking is not always about addressing a crowd of thousands or hundreds. Sometimes it means talking to your friends in a completely different manner.

You do not need a stage to practice public speaking. Observe great speakers like Dr. Shashi Tharoor, the way he speaks is almost the same on the stage, in the house, on tv and even in general conversation.

In order to be able to talk well on stage, you need to first talk well off stage. Share the idea with your friends, make sure you do not develop a separate stage voice but make your regular style into a stage savvy one.

Learn to write

Just because your paragraph-long rants on facebook get you a hundred likes, does not mean you have writing skills. Being good at writing means being able to speak with your pen. A lawyer should have good writing skills. It separates you from the unnecessary crowd that you WILL face once you graduate.

If you do not want your files to be tossed and be scolded by judges, the time is now to work on your writing skills. Learn to say a more with fewer words and ALWAYS get your writeups reviewed.

It is advised to maintain a blog since it allows you to get feedback from a wide variety of people. It is better than posting it on social media since the crowd on social media is generally NOT interested in your articles. The readers of a blog are interested in good articles and will spend time on your articles.

Learn to Draft

There is a huge difference between writing and drafting. In order to draft your pleadings, the first thing you need to know is the size of the paper, the margins and the font and spacing of the text that your pleadings are going to be in. This is something which the graduates learn on the job. While the paying scales for freshers in the industry are nothing short of insulting (personal opinion), they are not entirely wrong.

The candidates can introduce themselves to the basics of drafting and court culture while in law school so that they only have to guide you with the complex issues and not the very basics.

Approach an advocate, one with a small practice and no juniors. Then offer to help with the work for experience. They may not entertain you at first, keep at it and you will find the right person.

It is better to work for free while in college than to get peanuts for a 14 hours job. Learn the intricacies of drafting. Once you are familiar with the basics, contact bigger lawyers on LinkedIn and ask work related to various contracts. Learn to draft several types of contracts, once you attach the samples of the drafts you know to your application, the chances of being hired shoots up to the sky.

These three skills are the main skills of a successful lawyer. Focusing on these three will take you a long way into making yourself more employable.


Note: This post was first published on 26th August 2019.


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