Being a lawyer is a calling. It would have to be, right? After all, obtaining the credentials necessary to practice law is a long, arduous journey. Law school isn’t easy to get into, even if you have a great application essay and an even better LSAT score. Then, once you’re done with school, you spend your life slogging through the nitty-gritty to get to where justice is. Whether you practice family law or corporate law, being an attorney is a hard and admirable career choice.
One thing that most people don’t realize, though, is that many lawyers also need business skills and savvy to succeed. Think about it—why would running a law firm be any different than running a different business? A lawyer still needs to understand project management and budgets, as well as be able to recognize weaknesses and take care of them before they tank the firm.
These, and more, are the reasons why an attorney who takes their future seriously should think of filling out an application for an MBA program. You may be thinking that once you survived law school you aren’t in any rush to head back into the classroom, and that’s fine. Still, it’s important to get the most know-how and skills that you can in order to succeed at your calling, and admission to an excellent business school in pursuit of an MBA is a great first step. Read on for some more on why an MBA might be your next move if you’re a lawyer who is serious about being the best.
Project management is harder than it looks.
Even if you have years of experience when it comes to managing your own personal life, that doesn’t mean that you have the project management skills to run a law firm. With any luck, you’ll have tons of clients and cases and may even have many more junior attorneys running for you.
Each client’s case is a project that needs to be managed, and without the best project management skills, you’ll be sure to let something slip through the cracks. This will both let down the people you want to help and end up losing your clients. That’s a lose-lose situation.
If you want to take that and turn it into a win-win, consider getting the credentials to call yourself a Project Management Professional (PMP) in addition to calling yourself an attorney at law. PMP certification online classes are easily located online, and since these are online classes, you can get a PMP certificate in your own time at a project management institute.
In this way, you can have great skills to offer a firm, even if you don’t end up starting your own. Having a PMP certificate will be sure to make you more attractive to prospective employers as you wade through the application process for various interesting jobs. An MBA from a top MBA program will make you stand out, but if you’re not ready for that commitment a PMP exam will get you some great tools as well.
An MBA program will prepare you for tangible work experience.
The real world is full of pitfalls to fall into, and it can be hard to keep up—even if you’re a fast learner. An MBA program at a top business school (like Harvard Business School, Wharton, Kellogg, or Stanford) will have courses that provide opportunities to examine examples of real-life work experience.
Your instructors will take the time to teach you about best practices when it comes to budgeting, gleaning insights from data to drive business choices, and more. That way, when you actually enter the job market you’re several steps ahead of your peers.
If you’re unsure about how to fill out a stellar application to a top school, it’s important to know that you don’t have to be alone in the application process. There are plenty of MBA application consultant professionals who are there to guide you through the journey.
They’ll provide insights into what each dream school is looking for in their applicants, and can give you specific information about what different admissions committees are looking for at different business schools. Any business school applicant would be wise to use these tools. Don’t let the MBA application process deter you from getting the skills you need.
Other attorneys can guide your journey, too.
Maybe you’re more of a hands-on learner. If so, that’s fine as well. While an MBA or a PMP certificate will certainly help you stand out, there are plenty of examples of skilled lawyers who have excelled in other ways.
You don’t have to look farther than Malliha Wilson to see how this is done. Wilson, an alumnus of McGill University, made her way all the way to the role of Assistant Deputy Attorney General to the Ontario government, trying human rights cases in front of the Supreme Court of Canada. These days she is the senior counsel at the Nava Wilson LLP firm.
If you aren’t interested in applying to a top business school, there are other ways to excel, it just may be a long road to get there.