There is a lot to learn about the legal field, even before you get started at law school. Fortunately, there is a virtually limitless number of pre-law blogs and websites that can help you learn about things like:
- The law school application process
- The trials and tribulations of law school
- New developments in the law
- Preparing for a successful legal practice
- Challenges faced by women and minorities in law school and the workplace
- Topics of interest to those focused on a particular area of practice
Although the blog or website that presents the best information in a format you find appealing is highly personal, there are a number of pre-law blogs and websites that are highly regarded by just about everyone. The following article provides a quick overview of some of these resources.
Planning for Law School
Before beginning your legal education, your primary legal interest will be choosing between law schools. Fortunately, there are resources focused on precisely this question. The most commonly cited authority for this is the U.S. News & World Report law school rankings.
The rankings will provide some general insight into the reputation of individual schools and provides some limited analysis, but you may want to learn more about what makes one law school a better fit than another.
For a more detailed analysis, the nonprofit organization Law School Transparency provides a more granular assessment of schools that includes statistics on things like:
- Bar passage rates
- Employment rates
- Law school admissions and enrollment statistics
- LSAT scores
- Cost of attendance
- Graduate salaries
However, choosing a law school is not the only issue facing future lawyers. There are several prominent blogs that can help you get a sense of law school, legal careers, and more:
- FindLaw's Practice of Law blog covers attorney lifestyle from law school to career and everything in between.
- The American Bar Association (ABA)'s Student Lawyer Blog covers a wide variety of topics relevant to law students, such as building a law school budget or rebounding from a not-so-great first semester.
- The Law Professor Blog Network hosts blogs written by law professors on a variety of legal issues. This would be a good place to start learning about how your professors approach legal issues.
If there's a certain school you're interested in, check to see if they have a pre-law advising blog like the University of Oregon's. These blogs can give you insight into opportunities for pre-law students at your prospective school, put you in touch with recruiters, and help you discover events.
Women, People of Color, and LGBTQ+ in Law
Not all law students face the same challenges or have the same perspective. Fortunately, some pre-law blogs and websites have attempted to develop resources for folks from communities that have been historically underrepresented in the legal profession.
- Women have had an increasing presence and influence in the law. As such, many pre-law blogs and websites like The Girl's Guide to Law School and Ms. JD attempt to provide resources for women seeking a law degree and career.
- Lawyers of color have also faced unique challenges. Their viewpoint on legal education and practice is expressed in pre-law blogs and websites such as the National Conference of Black Lawyers and the Womxn of Color in Law Blog.
- There are also unique legal issues facing the LGBTQ+ community, and law students and lawyers who are part of the community might wish to learn more. GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) maintains a blog on these types of issues.
Legal News Blogs
FindLaw's Courtside and Federal Circuits blogs provide analysis of recent cases coming out of state and federal courts as well as the Supreme Court. You can also check out SCOTUSblog for even more Supreme Court news. For legal news with a little more personality, try Above the Law or FindLaw's Legally Weird.
Topic Specific Blogs
If you already know the area of practice you intend to focus on, you may wish to seek out pre-law blogs and websites that focus on your interests. There are prominent blogs that focus on virtually every area of specialization.
You can follow Patently-O for insights into the complicated world of patent law. Or, if saving the planet is more your thing, try the environmental law blog Legal Planet. Many law firms also have their own blogs.
Prefer Podcasts? Try These!
Listening to podcasts about legal issues can be a great way to get exposure to legal concepts.
- FindLaw's Don't Judge Me podcast tackles legal topics that appear in the news, often with a humorous spin.
- The ABA's law student podcast covers issues affecting law students, law schools, and recent graduates.
- For firsthand advice about law school from female attorneys, try Ladies Who Law School.
- Spin that existing true-crime addiction into a study of criminal law with Court Junkie.
In addition to the resources previously listed, there is a wide variety of articles and blogs intended to assist you in your journey through your legal education and on into practice. FindLaw's Legal Blogs provide links to legal blogs for consumers, students, and practitioners. You can also find articles covering issues concerning law students collected and updated regularly in FindLaw's Law Students section.