A career goals statement can be a great tool for any aspiring professional, allowing you to keep your broader aims in mind while you are still getting on with the day to day responsibilities of your current circumstances. It may also be a requirement of the application process if you are hoping to achieve a place at a prestigious institution.
Whether you are just starting your legal career, or you are still studying to become a lawyer, writing a career goals statement can be a very useful exercise, as well as an entirely necessary one. Of course, you need to go about this process the right way to make the most of it, so here are some pointers to give you a head start which could also be useful when combined with LSAT tips ahead of your entrance exam.
It might seem obvious, but decisiveness and specificity are your best friends when it comes to writing a career goals statement. You need to start by setting out exactly what it is that you hope to achieve, since that is the entire point of putting this in writing in the first place.
Avoiding vagueness is not just about deciding where you see your career progressing in the next 5 to 10 years; you can also be precise about the deadlines by which you expect to have reached certain milestones.
This is not just about demonstrating your ambition, but also about creating a document to which you are ultimately accountable. There will be no beating about the bush once you have outlined unambiguous career goals and this is actually a proven tactic in increasing your chances of living up to them.
Explain your intentions
A career goals statement will both pinpoint the objectives you intend to hit in your career as a lawyer and also provide an explanation of how you intend to go about reaching these goals.
This could include everything from the kinds of qualifications you want to acquire to the types of roles you will target and even the organizations you want to work for, with each step ideally taking you closer to the endgame.
Once again this has the dual effect of both showing to anyone who reads your statement that you have thought about proactive steps you can take to get where you want to go while also acting as a useful reminder that you can refer to for motivation in the future.
To create a strong statement of intent that will ideally shape your legal career going forwards, you really need to avoid wishy-washy wording. Do not fall into the trap of deploying conditional terms to describe your goals and instead be definitive; do not say that you hope to achieve something, say that you will achieve it.
This approach will reinforce the content of your career goals statement and also make it more compelling and concise to read.
If you are still feeling like you are not in the best position to start work on your career goals statement, it is always worth checking out other examples of this type of document from those in a similar field. This will help you get a feel not just for the kinds of objectives to set yourself, but also how to actually structure your own statement effectively.
If you are already working, you might be able to ask colleagues for their own career statements for inspiration, or if you are applying to a training course or educational institution, example career goal statements might be available on request.