A career in law can be especially rewarding yet exhaustingly competitive. Contending against thousands of other law school students graduating each year, what can an aspiring lawyer do to become more marketable? South Bay Attorney Tom Flores has worked in the criminal justice field for more than seven years, with experience as a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. With added experience as a software engineer, he demonstrates the importance of creating a marketable specialty before entering law school.

(Photo Courtesy of Tom Flores)

(Photo Courtesy of Tom Flores)

What is your educational background and area of expertise?

“My undergraduate degree is in Computer Science from the University of California Irvine and my law degree is from Whittier Law School. My area of expertise is software licensing, open source software auditing and DUI defense.”

What advice can you offer to people interested in entering law school?

“This career can be very lucrative and rewarding. However, you will be responsible for your client’s freedom and financial success. When your phone rings, somebody is in trouble and needs your help to fix it.”

What tips can you offer to law school students competing for jobs in law firms?

“Someone with legal training is not limited to working in a law firm. All businesses need a competent attorney to navigate them away from costly mistakes and advise them to comply with applicable laws. I would suggest that new lawyers combine their legal training with their careers before law school, and create a marketable specialty. For example, someone who studied physics or geology could become a landslide litigation specialist.”

Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.