Thursday 9 August 2018

The washed up law graduates, who thought success was a sure thing.

There is a meme doing the rounds.

Someone tweets:

'You attract what you fear'

In theme, they get a reply from someone saying they fear something they want, and in particular, a law degree.

'Omg I'm so scared I'll actually complete my law degree'.

For many doing an LLB bachelor of laws degree, today, that should be a fear. A law degree does not get 80% of graduates entry to the profession. Make sure you count the cost beforehand.

Get your learner's licence and sign up for driving lessons: get a licence. 90% of firms will reject you out of hand for not having a licence: driving is a big part of the job of both candidates and attorneys. Improve your English: write everything you write like a legal letter, read novels and case law and sign up for extra English lessons if need be. Get a tutor. Get a student's discount at centres which teach you how to speak clearly and in a way everyone can understand you. I used to go through the dictionary a word at a time to check my pronunciation of every word against the International Received English standard, using my knowledge of the International Phonetic Alphabet to do so. The Received English in non-American dictionaries is the accent of lawyers across the commonwealth, and much of South Africa. It helps, because everyone understands that accent, and the easier to understand you are, the more likely people are to believe you, per studies. By the same stroke, stop using big words where they are not the most appropriate word. Practise debate and arguing. Argue online and in person. Blog. YouTube. Get used to speaking in front of people and of it mattering. You can't swear in court, except to God, so learn to be respectful, polite and courteous in all your interactions.

Because, wasting four or seven years of your life on a 'sure thing' and then never using it, is something you should fear. The world, outside of university, knows that it owes you, personally, nothing. If you are not prepared to do everything possible to succeed in this profession, you are likely to land up washed up upon the shore, with a degree that was not worth the time and effort you spent on it.

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