Legal Career Resource Guide
A sound legal system is the foundation of civilization. And the legal field offers myriad engaging, rewarding career opportunities for individuals – from courtroom stenographer to Supreme Court justice. Wherever your aspirations lie, this guide is for you. Inside you’ll find 40 individual resources, including study resources, links to professional organizations, blogs, podcasts, publications and much more.
General Legal Career Resources
From free mock trials to legalese defined, this section offers general resources that will pique your legal interest.
FindLaw Legal Dictionary – Need an online go-to for legalese? Check out this free dictionary that contains over 8,000 definitions of legal terms.
Totally Useless Legal Facts – While deemed totally useless, these legal facts still have entertainment value. Check them out in your leisure time or use them as a conversation starter at a party.
Legal Abbreviations – Don’t let legal acronyms and terms be a cause of confusion. Instead browse the glossary list or search the index feature of this online resource.
Famous Trials – Interested in perusing materials – trial transcripts, images, original essays – related to the most famous trials in world history? Look no further than the link above.
Legal Information Institute – From Cornell University, comes the Legal Information Institute, which provides an online encyclopedia offering concise explanations of legal topics.
Free Mock Trials – Find compelling civil and criminal mock trial transcripts for use in a classroom, a mock trial team or something else.
Legal Career Study Resources
Studying for the bar exam isn’t a one-night – or even a one week – effort. In fact, it can take months to adequately prepare. However, preparation is always easier with the right resources like the ones below.
Ten Minute Mentor – From the Texas State Bar, browse this collection of approximately 100 ten-minute videos that offer brief overviews of a wide variety of legal topics such as immigration and probate.
Bar Exam Toolbox Resource Hub – Preparing for the bar exam should be a strategic endeavor. Find useful and free exam prep content here.
LSAT Prep Test – While there are plenty of official LSAT Prep Tests available to purchase, this is currently the only free official LSAT Prep Test, which offers an instant online download.
Ace the LSAT – Steve Schwartz created and maintains this blog full of helpful information for anyone who is interested in taking the LSAT. His drive and determination helped him achieve a 175 on the LSAT, and he wants to help others do well, too.
LSAT Logic Games – This link takes you to four logic practice games that include explanations and diagrams to help you really understand what you’re studying.
Federal Law Resources
Whether your goal is completing a paper or preparing for a day in court, this tidy collection of resources can help you quickly find the federal law information you need.
United States Government Publishing Office – This link provides free online access to official publications from the three branches of the Federal Government.
Legal Information Institute – Check out this link for an annotated U.S. Constitution prepared by the Congressional Research Service.
National Archives – The Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution and Bill of Rights are available to view at this link, which also offers high-resolution downloads.
Office of the Law Revision Counsel: United States Code – This site houses searchable U.S. code from 1988 to the present as well as other related information.
Congress.gov – For United States federal legislative information, this is your official go-to resource.
Supreme Court of the United States – The official website of the Supreme Court of the U.S. allows visitors to browse cases by year, citation, party name or full-text.
Legal Professional Associations
Legal career professional associations offer a wealth of information and opportunities for those in the industry.
American Bar Association – Containing more than 400,000 members, the ABA is responsible for accrediting law schools, offering continuing legal education, creating helpful programs to assist lawyers and judges and more.
Association of Corporate Counsel – The ACC promotes the interests of its members – corporate in-house attorneys – by offering continuing education, improving perception and understanding of this segment of the legal population and supporting its advancements.
Association of Legal Administrators – This association is the top resource for those involved in the management of law firms. Discover connections to relevant education, resources and networking.
International Bar Association – The IBA has been around since 1947 and is regarded as the world’s leading organization of international law practitioners, bar associations and law-related societies.
Legal Marketing Association – The LMA, founded in 1985, provides professional support, education and information exchange for people involved in marketing for the legal profession.
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers – The NACDL is a professional bar association, founded in 1958, with more than 38,000 direct and affiliate members. Its mission is to ensure justice and due process for people accused of wrongdoing, including criminal activity.
NALS: The Association for Legal Professionals – Members of NALS – from paralegals to legal administrators – can take advantage of continuing education, information, training and certifications.
National Association of Legal Assistants – NALA is the premier legal assistant’s professional association, which provides member benefits such as continuing education and professional certification.
A busy legal career doesn’t offer much time for outside reading, but the following type of reading fare deserves your attention. Check out the following legal blogs, which are referred to by many as some of the best available.
Lawyerist – This blog points its focus to the management of small firms. Content is kept fresh and interesting via a steady supply of rotating contributors.
My Shingle – A comprehensive resource for single-owner and small firm attorneys. Find thousands of posts, as well as free e-books, helpful checklists and ready-to-use forms related to beginning and managing a law firm.
SCOTUS Blog – The official blog of the Supreme Court of the United States which discusses recent developments in its realm.
Attorney at Work – If having access to one excellent idea every day related to your law career sounds good, make this blog a regular stop.
Legal Productivity – What attorney or law firm wouldn’t want to be more organized and productive? How about learning how to market your law practice more effectively? You’re in luck. The Legal Productivity blog’s mission is all of the above.
Listen Like a Lawyer – Learn about the theory and practice of effective listening and how you, and others at your firm, can benefit from improving listening skills.
Whether you’re a law student or you have a busy legal career, podcasts are the perfect choice to help you be more productive and informed.
Law School Toolbox Podcast – Check out this engaging and entertaining podcast that’s full of practical tips and advice about all things law school and career related. Best of all? It’s hosted by law school and bar exam experts who promise listeners they’ll never be bored.
I Am the Law – Find out what the practice of law is really all about by listening to new and veteran law school graduates on this podcast.
Life of the Law – Get the latest investigate reports, intriguing stories and relevant conversations about American law on this bi-weekly podcast.
Lawyer 2 Lawyer – Full of expert legal commentary, this podcast has more than 500 shows to its credit. Even better is that the topics are broad-ranging.
TED Talks – TED Talks spreads ideas in the form of brief, yet powerful, talks. Check out these talks focused on legal issues
Additional Legal Publications
From magazines to handbooks, the following publications will help you manage your business with intelligence and efficiency.
Digital Commons Network: Law Commons – Find full-text scholarly law articles for free via this link. Articles are curated from hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the world.
ABA Legal Technology Research Center – While coverage may vary, you can still find plenty of free full-text law journals via this free search engine from the American Bar Association.
NYLS: Law Reviews with Online Content – Search 150 law journals that have, at least, their current issue available online for free. Advanced searching features for specific topics are available.
Law Review Commons – All Law Review Commons publications – law reviews and legal journals – are available for free. Current issues as well as archival content are available.