Q: Can a first career add value to being a lawyer? I am currently a journalist thinking of going to law school, but am concerned that people may perceive me poorly for not choosing law in the first place.
A: Being a more mature “new” lawyer with prior significant work experience can be a definite plus. Journalists are generally strong writers, dedicated to detail and driven by deadlines, also critical aspects of being a successful lawyer. Social workers train to be effective listeners and empathic problem solvers. Teachers tend to be patient and able to make complex concepts understandable. First careers can definitely be an asset; don’t shy away from realizing your career goal of pursuing a law degree, and don’t be apologetic because you did something that laid the foundation first.