Every pre-law student, whether determined to attend law school or uncertain about making the decision, should attempt to know as much as possible about the profession they are considering joining. What we see on the news or in movies or on social media is only a small fraction of what attorneys actually do in real life; most are not in the courtroom banging their fist on a table in front of a jury and screaming for justice.
Reading about the profession only accomplishes so much. In order to really get a feel for what attorneys do it's important that students observe attorneys in action and if possible gain practical experience. Below are just a few examples of how OSU students engage with attorneys and learn what it's really like to practice law.
...Shadow an Attorney
Students considering a career in criminal law, either prosecution or defense, can reach out to the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office and request to shadow an attorney for a half day or a day. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien, an alum of Ohio State's Moritz College of Law, started his career as a legal intern plus many of the prosecuting and defense attorneys as well as a few of the judges working in Franklin County have ties to Ohio State.
...Volunteer with a Non-Profit Organization
"For many low income and elderly individuals living in Columbus and Central Ohio, equal justice under the law is not an abstract concept or a phrase with no meaning, it is an every day struggle to provide for themselves and their families. The Legal Aid Society of Columbus (LASC) exists to provide assistance and guidance to those attempting to navigate our complex legal system. Our attorneys know that without proper representation, justice can be difficult to come by and it is the mission of LASC to improve the lives of low income residents and senior citizens of Columbus and Central Ohio by providing high quality legal representation that meets our clients’ civil legal needs." - LASC website. Columbus Legal Aid welcomes college students who are interested in volunteering on a regular basis; to learn more visit the Non-Attorney Volunteer webpage.
...Work a Part-Time Job or Internship
"The State Government Internship Program is coordinated through a partnership of the Ohio State University Office of Government Affairs and Department of Political Science. It provides sophomores, juniors and seniors a semester-long internship with the Ohio General Assembly. Students selected for the program will be placed in the office of a State Representative, State Senator or caucus policy office in downtown Columbus and have the option of earning 3 hours of credit for their work. The program also offers 3 on-campus seminars focusing on different aspects of working in state government." - OSU Government Affairs
Reach out to your college's Career Services office and to your Pre-Law advisor for more ideas!