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Recent Law Grads Weigh in on Third Year of School

Students say getting practical law experience can be critical as a 3L.

Externships and legal clinics can help law students learn how to be a lawyer.
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"Working with the clinic gave me a little bit of a better sense of what my duties as a lawyer would look like," she says.

Bantz is currently doing a clerkship for a local court in Indiana. She encourages prospective students to do their homework before committing to law school.

"If you have an idea of the kind of law you want to practice, do research on the market," she says. "It's good to have all the facts before making a big investment of time and money."

Chanel Lattimer-Tingan served as president of the Black Law Student Association during her third year at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and participated in two clinics, experiences that are nearly impossible to have as a 1L or 2L at Penn, she says.

She encourages prospective students to plan on taking a wide variety of classes to prepare them for a legal career.

If prospective students are stuck choosing between pursuing two-year programs or traditional three-year schools, Lattimer-Tingan urges them to think about their career prospects.

"Do some introspection and figure out what it is you're looking to get out of law school, whether you doing a two-year program would affect your job prospects in any type of way," she says.

Also consider finances, she says. "If there's any type of economic benefits of having a free year, essentially, or having one less year of being in school."

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