Q: I am about to finish high school in South Africa, I am at a top school in the country and now I need to know what are my next steps. My plan has always been to study law after I completed high school. I have used high school as a great way to prepare myself for the world at large but now it is crunch time. One of my ideas is to do a legal internship in Sri Lanka, the idea is to do something substantial providing value experience along with gaining knowledge into my future career. Please can you give me some ideas of going forward?
A: Firstly, you seem to be motivated to rock the planet and your question is refreshing to say the least. We dig your whole understanding of the high school education system and then trying to figure out the next step. In terms of your future plans, it’s all about options and then making sure you choose the one that best suits you. The Sri Lanka idea is actually pretty cool, because you are combining aspects which are very important to your overall future. So let’s take a look at options:
1. Law, yes the legal system and no matter how many stereotypical jokes there are about lawyers, we actually do need lawyers, just like we need any other professional in an industry. Your options to study law are based on where you want to study (which country) and do you see yourself being based in that country for awhile. Remember when you study law, you specialise in the legal system of a particular country, however there are ways to practice international law and be able to practice in foreign countries. In terms of South Africa check out the breakdown of studying law by the Law Society of South Africa, in terms of international study we suggest looking into various countries and their universities which offer law in their curriculum.
2. Research, generally in this case picking a law school or finding a university of choice that fits your career needs is a major decision. So get onto FirstStep.me and research various options, look at every possible career opportunity that you would be interested in. Remember at the end of the day a degree doesn’t make a career, so even if you study law you don’t have to go into a legal field, there are corporate, business, organisational and further study options that you can look into once you have completed your studies.
3. A Gap year, the idea of doing a legal internship in Sri Lanka sounds really awesome. You have been smart in your thinking, by combining travel, a gap year, work experience and law into one big adventure is just awesome. It should give you an appetite for the legal system or perhaps it may put you off the legal system entirely, the fact is that you are looking to discover a career first before you actually study towards it is fantastic no matter what country you choose to do it in. Check out the FirstStep.me’s internship and gap year pages for programs that fit a travel internship in the legal field.
You can also check out the following useful websites,
Projects Abroad and Next Step Connections, for general and specialised legal internships in Asia.
We think that you are on the right track, no matter what field you are going into, you are asking the right questions-whether you want to be an animator, a pilot, an astronaut, a skydiver etc. Whatever the career is, getting practical experience through an internship, volunteer stint or student vacation job and then doing the research for that career is a great combination to get an understanding and making a more informed decision before committing yourself to an education route. Remember the answers just don’t appear you have to go and get it yourself!
Good luck and rock the planet!