Having gained a bit of insight during self-assessment, you now need to explore the wide variety of practice settings and practice areas to begin to get a feel for which will be a good match for your personality type, career goals and practical needs. Most students arrive at law school with only a vague idea of what type of law they want to practice after graduation. Others arrive with a very specific idea of what type of law they want to practice – but that idea is usually formed without great exposure to other potentially interesting areas of the law. So whether you feel like you know what kind of law you want to practice, or have absolutely no idea, you owe it to yourself to learn more about the vast array of legal practice areas and practice settings. We recommend a three step process for this type of information gathering:
Read as much as you can about different practice areas and settings to develop a basic understanding of what is out there before you begin discussing your career plans with people in your personal network.
Begin discussing your potential areas of interest with low-stress contacts in your personal network (i.e. people you already know and feel comfortable with – close friends/family members/the counselors in the Office of Career Services, and your professors).
Set up informational interviews with attorneys in the specific areas of interest to you – these can be people you don’t know well or at all, but with whom you have enough in common to make an initial contact – think fellow alums of your undergraduate institution, graduates of our law school, and people recommended to you by members of your personal network.
Once you've completed the Information Gathering step, it is time to move on to Career Planning . . .