The road to law school is rarely a cut-and-dry, linear pathway. Many aspiring lawyers take circuitous routes, pursuing non-legal degrees, careers, and interests before finally making the decision to enroll in a J.D. program.
For others, getting their feet wet in the legal realm is the only stepping stone needed to prepare for their next phase of life.
Between the hands-on experience and networking opportunities available, working as a paralegal before attending law school is a smart move for anyone looking to make a name for themselves in the courtroom.
At the Tulane School of Advancement (Tulane SoPA), our General Legal Studies degree and Paralegal Certificate program are your green-light pathways toward advancing in the field before making the move to become a practicing attorney.
Gain a Firsthand Legal Background
It's no secret that admission into law school is a competitive game.
According to BeMo, the median acceptance rate for law schools throughout the U.S. is below 50 percent, resting at 40.8 percent as of 2023.
What does this mean for you?
Standing out on your application and working your way into a law program may require more than just meeting the baseline criteria. Real-world experience is the gold standard of any college application, and working as a paralegal offers just that.
While you may not be defending clients in court just yet, your role as a paralegal will allow you to do much of the same work as a lawyer — right alongside them — with daily responsibilities including:
- Conducting factual and legal research
- Discussing case details with lawyers and clients
- Organizing, maintaining, and preparing legal documents, and
- Assisting in trials and closings
Having first-hand familiarity with the field, you'll gain the background knowledge, skills, and experience that leave you with higher chances of getting admitted to your top-choice law program.