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Graduating law school is no easy feat, and not everyone who sets out to achieve this goal can do so. If you are one of the dedicated ones, congratulations, but now what? Sometimes career paths involving such a heavy and drawn-out study schedule can leave people in a situation where they know how to study what they want to do but are unsure how to start doing it. Below are three tips for recent law school graduates that will help bridge the gap between your chapter as a law school student and your tenure as a professional who practices law.
Do Not Disregard Debt
After so many years of school, and likely the same number of years of having to take out student loans, the number you are left with in terms of what you owe can be overwhelming. However, pushing that debt to the side in favor of spending that first big salary check frivolously can negatively impact your long-term financial health. There is nothing wrong with using a portion of your hard-earned money to treat yourself occasionally, but debt repayment needs to have a consistent spot in your budget.
Assumably the last thing you want to do is load more work on yourself, but what if you picked up a hobby that could also earn you some side cash? Day trading is a great way to get introduced into the stock market with relatively low risk, lower demand for your time than other investment strategies, and it does not require mass amounts of principle to get started. As always, you should only be working with funds you can afford to lose, but you potentially stand to gain quite a bit. You can review a day trading guide for beginners to learn day trading tactics to know precisely what you are getting into. This extra money can be used towards helping you meet financial goals, retirement, debt repayment, or spending money, all while your regular salary covers your most important financial responsibilities.
Build a Network
If you did not already establish a professional network while in school, it is a good idea to start doing so now. Even people in different industry sectors can be of value to you in terms of connections and mentorship. And as with many careers, where you begin is not always indicative of where you end up. Having relationships with various people will help you create a well-rounded professional portfolio and serve as a field of opportunities down the line. Networking is often typical advice for young law students, so it is likely you already have this in place. Still, from a professional standpoint, your network can never be too extensive, and you should always be looking for opportunities to expand it beyond what you started as a student.
Find a Niche
With so many different types of degrees and specializations to earn your law degree in, likely, you have already acknowledged a concentration and focused your law studies in that direction. Still, post-graduation is your time to find a specific niche and work to become an expert within it. Pick a dynamic and exciting niche so that you are not pigeonholing yourself and do not grow bored. Repetition can cause burnout and coming off such an extensive schooling regimen. You have probably already had your fill of monotony.