Via email:

I’ve recently gotten serious about attending law school and started studying for the LSAT last week.

I have been speaking with as many lawyers I can in order to get a realistic outlook on law, however I have not spoken to any criminal defense attorneys.

If I could ask you a few questions about 1.) Law School 2.) Your career 3.) any thoughts/opinions on the profession, I’d greatly appreciate it.

My response:

1) Law School is mostly boring. Don’t go unless #2 applies to you.

2) I love being a criminal defense lawyer. That’s what I wanted to be when I went to law school.

If you want to be a [fill-in-the-blank-type-of] lawyer, then obviously law school is a necessity, and you’ll just have to put up with the boring parts. After you suffer through all the mandatory stuff during first year – where you have little or no control over what classes you must take – then concentrate on taking the classes that will actually apply to your future career.

Try to find a law school that has clinics that allow you to practice as a third year student while supervised by lawyers that know what they are doing. For me, the criminal defense clinic at UT Law was invaluable. Best course I took.

3) I have no experience with non-criminal defense parts of the profession. Therefore I have few thoughts and no opinions about that. I’m just one of the lucky people that gets to enjoy what he does for a living.

  • [Update]

    I sent the emailer a link to my post as the response to his email, and he wrote back:

    “Much appreciated.

    “I’m very interested in criminal law. I think this stems from the fact that A.) I find it much more interesting than other fields and B.) I enjoy helping people who’ve been put into situations they do not understand and could otherwise be taken advantage of.

    “If you had one serious piece of advice to give someone going into criminal law, what would it be?”

    To which I responded:

    “Um, I thought I was being serious :)”