This is our first article as Lawpreneur! Over the next few months we intend to write a series of articles on lawyers and entrepreneurship starting with how “Law school Prepares You for Entrepreneurship” and eventually ending with a case study of lawyers turned entrepreneurs.
We discussed the idea for “Lawpreneur” earlier this week. The next few days we spent penning down our thoughts and trying to ensure that we had the same vision for this series before we got to writing. Joyce Carol Oates once famously said, “The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written.” Keeping this in mind, over the next months we’re going to be writing a number of articles that we intend to tie together in order to prove our underlying theme — “lawyers are natural born entrepreneurs”. As of now, we ourselves don’t really know if this is 100% true. However, through these articles, we aim to find out for ourselves as well as for all the law students and lawyers who are budding entrepreneurs. We hope you enjoy reading them as much we are going to enjoy writing them, and we will appreciate any and all feedback and thoughts you may have! 🙂
Coming to this article, we both strongly believe that Law School prepares you for the start-up life and entrepreneurship. Be it the element of teamwork, the communication skills required, our sense of community and especially the ability to research and use the information efficiently. Through this article, we’re going to explore how our experiences in law school have prepared us for entrepreneurship and maybe even led us towards it!
Research AND Problem-Solving
One of the first things we’re taught at law school is the ability to research and sift through large volumes of information to find what is relevant to us. This has a lot to do with the fact that we often have to go through hundreds of pages of judgments to only find a few paragraphs that are required! (Indian judges often write judgments that go into many hundreds of pages — the recent NJAC judgment was over 1000 of pages). Students are trained in the method of approaching problem statements. They are trained to read and understand a scenario and solve the problem using both existing data as well as innovative approaches.
As entrepreneurs, much of the work in the ideation, as well as execution stage, involves crunching vast amounts of data to understand the need of the hour. Our preparation for this in law school enables us to make quick decisions and solve day to day problems in unique ways!
All Universities aim to build communities that foster and promote team-work. In law school, it is more than elsewhere. In Law School, we’re often given group projects to simulate the real world where multiple lawyers end up working on a single case.. Co-curricular activities such as mooting and debating require students to team up with their peers, and these teams often change from competition to competition. This teaches students how to contribute, compromise & co-exist.
Teamwork in our opinion is an acquired skill and the more one practices the better they get at it. Entrepreneurship is all about building, maintaining & managing a good team to solve a problem at scale. Without a good team, executing your idea is extremely hard! You’re often going to encounter people you may not like or get along with on a personal level, but as long as they’re able to work efficiently and do good work you would probably keep on your team. Law School prepares you for such situations.
Communication AND Presentation
Law School promotes and encourages speaking, presenting and pitching more than any other University set up. It never ends at research. Whether students choose to articulate their thoughts through formally drafted research papers or short and crisp presentations in a classroom, being able to communicate effectively is a part of law school life.
Activities like mooting & debating require one to pitch before judges or adjudicators who then decide based on the quality of content, research ability, clarity in communication as well as rebuttals. In much the same way, entrepreneurs have to pitch their ideas to people all the time. Whether it is to prospective customers, employees, investors or even the media. A lawyer who can’t convince his client or the judge of something is worth nothing. An entrepreneur who can’t convince customers, employees or investors of his idea is worth nothing.
One advantage of law school over almost any other sort of education is the community-oriented nature of what’s taught. Lawyers are sensitized about the community and society at large. Lawyers are best equipped to tackle socio-legal issues and make a difference in the world by solving the most pertinent of problems
The skills that one acquires during law school through correct exposure definitely help in the journey of an entrepreneur. Law school is the best time to hone these skills which will be valuable both in the legal field as well as in the unpredictable world of entrepreneurship.
While both of us are admittedly biased, we do believe that Law School is a great place to prepare you for entrepreneurship due to but not limited to the aforementioned reasons, something most business and tech students or venture capitalists probably don’t believe!
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this so please leave a comment! This was the introductory piece to our series on “Lawyers and Entrepreneurship” and we will be publishing several more articles over the next few months so definitely hit the follow button!
Mishaal Nathani is a 21-year-old law student who is extremely passionate about entrepreneurship, writing, sports and music! You can follow him on Medium and Twitter @MishaalNathani
Arman Sood is a Budding Entrepreneur, Lawyer & Sports Enthusiast! A passionate speaker & an avid sportsperson. Wants to live and breathe the startup ecosystem. Find him on medium @ArmanSood