University of Wisconsin–Madison

Research the Legal Profession

Why should I research the legal profession before I’m even in Law School?

As the American Bar Association explains, “There are many good reasons to explore the law and the legal profession before entering law school.  You will gain a more realistic view of the actual practice of law, the skills you will need, and the realities of the legal employment market.  Greater familiarity with the legal system—its institutions, concepts, and even vocabulary—can advance your understanding of law school curriculum.  You may identify potential practice areas that suit your personality, interests, and values.  You may even enhance your candidacy for admission to law school, as well as your opportunities for employment during and after law school.”

The American Bar Association recommends taking “advantage of opportunities to shadow, network with, or be mentored by practicing lawyers. Seek credit-bearing or paid internships in law-related settings during college breaks and summers.  Consider law-related employment between college and law school. While these experiences are not required for admission to law school, they can help you make informed decisions that lead to a successful law career.  Legal employers are increasingly seeking law school graduates who are practice-ready.  Your experience before law school can help you hit the ground running when you become a lawyer.”


What do lawyers do?

Legal Practice Area Summaries

Discover Law: Law School Admissions Council Resources

Successworks “Taste of Success” Recording: Listen to UW Alumni talk about their law careers: