• Based on your skills and talents, think outside the box to identify unique roles that may not solidly be in the legal profession.
• Leverage your educational background augmented by your other skills to excel in your own path.
—Miya Nazzaro, Vice President of Development and Finance at Public International Law and Policy Group and Managing Director at Capital Perception
• While in law school, spend less time in the classroom and more time gaining real world experience. Spend a semester interning/externing in a certain subject area, rather than taking a class on it.
• Don’t take courses just because “it is helpful for the bar exam.” That’s what bar prep is for.
—Brian Soares, Attorney at U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
• Don’t worry about not having a perfectly linear career path. Sometimes having a range of experiences that don’t perfectly relate can end up fitting together in ways you’ve never expected.
• Figure out what you want to do and go for it, even if you’re not totally confident you can achieve it.
—Giselle Lopez, Data Programs Specialist at PeaceTech Lab
• Field experience counts more than academic experience. They will help you build your network and figure out your interests. They could also lead to a job.
• Make yourself marketable. Work on different issues, and for different organizations to have the flexibility to move through different fields.
• Don’t be afraid to apply for jobs where you might not meet the years of experience. Even if you don’t get the specific job you applied for, you’re now a known quantity and you might be approached about other jobs.
—Jennifer Ober, Senior Program Manager at National Center for State Courts
• Even if you want to work in public international law, consider starting in the private sector. Firms provide an opportunity to hone your legal abilities that will be invaluable later in you career.
—Kirsten Lavery, Senior Counsel at Public International Law & Policy Group