Any expert in business will tell new business owners that hiring a business law attorney is a crucial first step. Given that an average of 627,000 new businesses are started in the US each year, business law attorneys are always in high demand. (Image Credits: Ekrulila/Pexels)
If you’re interested in breaking into the field of business law, you’re going to need to get a business law degree.
The question is, how do you decide what to specialize in? Furthermore, what other steps do you need to take to start your new career?
Read on for our top 5 tips for getting your business law degree and starting your career off on the right foot.
1. Specialize Your Business Law Degree
If you knew from an early age that you wanted to go into business law, you may have gotten your undergraduate degree in economics or business. Even if you didn’t, there are still ways that you can cater to your law school experience to the world of business.
Of course, you’re going to need to earn your Juris Doctorate. However, you will also want to specialize your degree by narrowing your focus down to one of a few key areas that come into play in business law.
For example, you may get your Juris Doctorate with specializations in taxation or business law. Other areas to pursue are federal tax law, intellectual property law, energy, or sustainability. The specialization you choose should reflect the kind of post-graduate work you hope to do.
If you’re unsure of your area of interest, consider looking into cases involving these different areas. This will give you a better insight into the different avenues a business law attorney can take.
2. Familiarize Yourself with Bar Requirements
In the early months of your education, look into the bar requirements of the jurisdiction where you will eventually take the bar. Make sure that you are familiar with any deadlines, as these can come up quicker than you expect.
In addition, make sure that you know what subjects are tested on the bar exam. Taking the bar exam requires intense studying and preparation. However, there are ways that you can ease into this process and lighten your load. When you know what subjects will be tested on the bar, you can take courses that cover those subjects. Then studying will feel a lot more like reviewing.
3. Master Westlaw and LexisNexis
Throughout the course of your education, you’re going to need to know how to navigate legal databases. These include databases like Westlaw and LexisNexis, which can be quite intimidating at first. Once you’re out of school, most internships and post-graduate employers will expect that you have mastered these databases. As such, take advantage of in-school opportunities.
Your school will host workshops throughout the year that focus on these databases. Oftentimes, representatives from the companies will come to campus several times a year to go over any changes to the database and answer questions students may have. You should never pass up the opportunity to attend since you’ll need these skills to write memos, briefs, and more.
4. Buy The Bluebook
If there’s one thing all law students have in common, it’s that they have to become familiar with The Bluebook–and they probably can’t stand it. This book is a guide for all legal citation styles and is chock-full of useful, albeit boring, information.
You’re going to need this book anytime you need to write memoranda or notes for law review or journals. It may be tempting to rent this book to get through school, but there are two reasons why it makes more sense to buy it.
The first is that you’re going to have an easier time using this book if you mark it up. Tab out the sections, highlight the passages that you use most often, and take notes in the margins to track when and how you’ve used different citations. With a rental, you’re often limited to the amount that you can mark up a textbook.
The second is that you’ll need this book all through law school and most attorneys need it when they begin post-graduate work, too. It makes better financial sense to buy it once than to rent it every semester only to end up buying it once you’re done with school.
If you want to be a business law attorney, you’re going to want to know a business law attorney (or two or ten). Make sure that you’re making connections whenever you can throughout your law school career. That way, it will be easier to gain access to topnotch internships or full-time positions with the law firm of your dreams.
Professors are a good place to start. Make a good impression by staying active in class and completing assignments on time. Once the class is over, stay in touch with your professors by sending occasional emails or asking them to grab a cup of coffee with you.
In addition, join organizations on campus to get to know your peers. Together, you can attend lectures, symposia, conferences, and more. If local attorneys will be attending events near you, do your best to be there!
Dive Into Business Law
If you’re interested in pursuing a law degree and passionate about business or economics, getting a business law degree sounds like the right move for you. No matter your area of specialty, you’re certain to find steady work with new businesses every year!
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