Does having parents/family members who are attorneys give someone a leg up either in law school or in the first year of practice?

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I’m not one of those who had that but from everything I have seen, it absolutely does, and I am pretty sure I have read that studies show those kids do better in law school.

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I also think that while learning to play the game early on is important, that coming from a different world and having different experiences can help set you apart later in your career. You can pick up on things that others can’t and depending on your field you can relate to some clients better than others can, so play the game now and then learn to play to your strengths later on.

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Connections, knowing what the heck you’re getting into, greater likelihood of affluence (lower chance of crippling student debt), I’d say so

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Knowing all the unwritten rules of the legal profession that schools don’t teach you but you are just supposed to miraculously know!

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Yep. My friends who have lawyer parents used their parents to get their jobs and always have the comfort of another job waiting for them if things go south

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Conversely, I work for a first generation immigrant, first generation attorney, pretty much self-made guy. We had a clerk who was going to be third gen attorney, really looked the part and played the part. Worked really hard, created a great deal of work product, but like many law clerks his confidence exceeded his competence... much of his product missed the mark or didn’t answer the call of the question. The managing attorney couldn’t stand the guy, had nothing good to say about him. I think there was some degree of resentment, that this kid was going to have a cakewalk into the profession whereas the manager had to scratch and claw. Not sure how much of that there is out there, but at least in our office it was a drawback to come from a family of lawyers.

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Coming from a first generation college/law student student, absolutely yes.

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💯. Both my parents are lawyers and it was so helpful. I had a fairly clear understanding of what I was getting myself into, which by itself was a huge leg up.

YUP. I didn’t know any lawyers before going to law school, much less relatives, so I didn’t even know the difference between a barrister and a solicitor when I applied (I’m in a common law jurisdiction where lawyers choose to be one or the other). Even without connections etc, simply just the exposure to the industry from parents/family members in law is invaluable in itself.

Only barristers can argue in court.

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Yes it was a huge advantage. My father was a founding member of a firm. Growing up spending time at that firm and understanding the economics of a firm really gave me a leg up. My brother in law heard of an opening at court and that’s how I got my first job. Having sounding boards on legal issues from other attorneys on legal and professional interactions is a constant help.

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