This week on the Law School Insider we have Western Michigan University Cooley Law School alumnus Christopher Pollard, a solo practicing lawyer from New York that focuses his practice primarily on DWI and criminal defense work.
Christopher Pollard is the 5th lawyer in his family so early on he was aware of what lawyers did and he saw the success that they had so he wanted to follow in their footsteps. He soon found the importance in the field of being able to solve problems and work with people to deal with the issues that they have in daily life. The profession of law really comes down to customer service and being able to serve your client to the best of your ability and this is something that Christopher Pollard continues to try to provide every day.
In thinking back to his own law school experience Christopher Pollard mentioned that law school is difficult and takes a lot of effort. The biggest thing that allows Christopher Pollard to find success was that he found the right way to study in law school and he was able to make a good transition from the way that he studied in his undergraduate experience to how he studied in law school. As Christopher Pollard stated "when you're in law school it is best that your life revolve around studying instead of making studying part of your life." If you cannot make this transition you will pay the price in the end.
Christopher Pollard was lucky to have some great mentors in law school that aided him along the way and he emulated their good habits to find success. He also made sure that he was very organized in law school, setting daily learning goals and making sure that he accomplished these. BY doing this he found success for himself and you can too.
Christopher Pollard mentioned that in law school you need mastery of the material. Law School doesn't have to be hard.
You have to make sure that you do not wait until the end of your term to study for law school. Instead, you have to study and learn the concepts as you go along. You are using the knowledge you are learning to analyze what you are given each week in class.
To get into the groove of law school you have to take the time to eliminate distractions. If you go to law school Christopher Pollard says that you should not wait, but instead go as soon as you can.
As Christopher Pollard states, you have to decide where you want to practice early on in your law school career. Once you decide the area you have to consider if you live on the border of two states if you will sit for the bar exam in two states. As you are making these decisions consider taking one day a week to get online and start researching the area you want to be in as well as the specific field of law.
As you research the area and firms within the area, look at what they are looking for in job placements. Also, network with people in these firms as well as others in the area in which you want to practice. See if you can volunteer, intern or have other opportunities that might open the law firms and the geographic area to you prior to graduation as well as open up opportunities for job placement too.
Also network with family and friends. Make sure that these people know what you are doing and what you are hoping to do once your are done with law school as sometimes these relationships can open up other opportunities after law school.
Christopher Pollard stated that as a solo practitioner he focuses on DWI and traffic related issues but can easily supplement his case load with other client needs too. As he stated "as a solo you are a jack of all trades but a master of one."
Christopher Pollard sees the benefit of being a solo practitioner with things such as:
- You set your own hours
- You are your own boss