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The Pre-Law Outlook - Importance of Networking with Lawyers as an Undergraduate

Contributed by Merrick Pastore (not a law student but hopefully will be soon)

As a junior year college student finishing up my sixth semester of undergraduate education, the thought of graduation is very scary. This idea is equally if not more scary to many of my peers in the college of arts and sciences here at Emory University, located in metropolitan Atlanta. After all, with the current Atlanta job market on the decline and no pre-determined tract to follow, what's a History or English major to do?

The answer for many of these stressed out individuals is Law School. After all, Law School requires none of the prerequisite undergraduate work that Medical School does, and a Law degree is among the most useful degree one can obtain. Sure, you have to take the LSATs but what's one more standardized test in the grand scheme of things? Plus, while Law School applications are certainly time-consuming, they do not require the interviews or extensive extra writing samples other professional schools do.

This is simply not the right mindset one should have when figuring out their future. The decision to go to Law School should not be a cop-out decision but rather one that is thought through long and hard. As a Pre-Law student, I have spoken to numerous lawyers, and just asked seemingly simple questions such as what a normal day is like in the office, what they deal with and do day in and day out, and most importantly, if they enjoy it and why.

Through this process I have realized that pursuing a Law Degree is the right move for me, but may not be the right move for everybody. Even if a job is not available after law school graduation, I have the opportunity to network and work with lawyers by sharing law space with established lawyers, such as Diane Baker, in the Atlanta metro area. I believe that all undergraduate students interested in pursuing a legal career should network as much as possible as they near graduation, both in order to confirm their interest and to create a network of colleagues in the field. After all, when it comes time to apply for legal internships either as a summer undergraduate or a law school student, connections you have made can potentially tip the balance in your favor. In short, it is never too early to begin networking, even if it is exploratory in nature. can help with this networking, as you can set up a profile and instantly be connected with attorneys from all over Atlanta. Although many attorneys do not offer undergraduate internships, as I have found out throughout the semester, almost all will offer you advice if you simply ask, and some may even offer to set up a coffee meeting. This advice and communication can get you further than you think, and will undoubtedly be a positive asset going forth. Students interested in pursuing a legal career should thus put legal networking at a high priority as it both aids on in confirming their interest in law, and establishes important professional connections going forth. can help one accomplish this, and easily allow one to get their foot in the door of the legal profession.