In a recently published column, lawyer Juan Gonzalo Ospina provides 5 practical tips that every law student should know before starting to practice.
1. Tomorrow is already late
We live in a changing world where time is the most important differentiating value we have (as an ally or enemy).
Many students come simply to obtain a degree that they will later hang on the wall, but are they making the most of their time? Are they sowing their future?
It is true that the university still has a wild atmosphere, but it is one of the fundamental pillars of what we will be tomorrow. Some people will make false promises: “when I finish university I will study languages”, “when I finish university I will read more about that subject”, but let’s not fool ourselves, with these thoughts the only thing we achieve is to waste the most precious value that we have; our time Law tutors.
My advice is nothing new: “don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” However, I include some nuances: To succeed tomorrow, in a world like today’s, you have to be different and to be different you will have to know languages. Why close yourself to different markets just because you don’t speak a language that another colleague does?
Another tip that I recommend starting to practice today is to read. Not only the texts recommended in the subjects, but books on social skills, excellence, leadership or negotiation.
Training tips if you are a law student
In this life everything adds up and the sooner you understand it, the sooner you will improve your skills and have a comparative advantage.
Finally, take advantage of all the opportunities you can to expand your education: sign up for programs, courses or workshops held at the university but don’t limit yourself to this one, explore opportunities at other institutions, even international ones.
Remember that you live in a global world, every change is small and excellence is only achieved with preparation.
Law associations also develop many courses, some open to non-members. Sign up for them and get your degree, every help to improve your training counts.
Don’t hesitate to participate in contests either; Firms are constantly looking for capable and different people. A university award will always be an advantage in your favor.
2. Work on oratory
In law, our weapon and main tool is the word. How many public speaking books have you read? How many public speaking classes have you had? How many mock trials have you held?
Practice the gift of speech as if it were your ultimate goal in life, and in the legal profession. The what and how are almost as important or more important than the substance.
In words we have an ally to master our message, therefore, constantly practice your public speaking skills and sign up for training courses or workshops.
If you find it difficult to speak in front of people, you will have to train twice as much, try theater or even oral expression classes. Many universities have speech teams.
A good lawyer cannot be unfamiliar with oratory, on the contrary, he must master it. I especially recommend classics like Cicero.
3. Be different
The university is the prelude to the professional world that surrounds us. If you like law, even with its diverse and varied branches, my advice is to be different. Everyone uses social networks, but do you have a professional profile or page?
Read legal magazines and journals, learn about the sector, identify the legal world, its opportunities and deficiencies.
Create a blog and work on your personal brand by writing about a topic that excites you and at the same time allows you to make a difference.
4. There are no second chances live
In real life, day-to-day life is much more cruel than when you fail an exam that you can still recover shortly after.
The sooner we understand that we have to prepare each and every one of our actions to the maximum, the sooner we will grow and improve.
From the university you have the opportunity to make your name known; Work on your legacy, cultivate the opinion of your teachers and your image in front of your classmates.
Life is very long and those who are mere classmates today will not be difficult for tomorrow to be professional colleagues as opposing parties, judges or prosecutors. Wouldn’t it be easier to settle a dispute with someone you know? Don’t miss the opportunity to make yourself heard at university and strengthen your future.
Lastly, remember the importance of empathy; Put yourself in the opponent’s shoes to understand him, and be able to interact with him giving the best of yourself.
5. Mediocrity is forgotten, success is immortalized
My last piece of advice is very obvious and repeats the theory of being different; don’t be the crowd. Make a difference from the beginning.
Many times we think that exams do not matter, that grades are not important, and the truth is that they are not everything, but they do have their value. The university is the pillar of tomorrow, if you waste it, if you don’t memorize or study, how will you have the legal principles to practice the profession?
What are you doing to be different? What are you doing to build your future? Live your university years with intensity, once it is over you will never return. “Don’t just go through the university but make the university go through you.”