What Should You Expect at Law School?


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Have you long dreamed of standing before a packed courtroom, arguing the case of the century before the television cameras and a throng of admiring fans, sure of your victory?  While that may be your dream job, getting there means long years of law school and lots and lots of studying. 

Most individuals don’t know what they may expect to find once they arrive at law school, but their passion to be a lawyer causes them to, nevertheless, go forward with their plans.  

Schools that train lawyers come in all shapes and sizes, but most have one thing in common – a demanding schedule and plenty of hard work.  If you’ve made it this far, however, you were no doubt a top student in your undergraduate course of study. Law school will certainly continue to test your strength and fortitude. 

While some law school classes will involve memorizing facts and figures, much of what this education is all about involves learning the process of the law.  Students who are adept at learning from books, do math homework and doing little creative thinking may struggle at first.  They’ll need to learn to think “outside the box,” being a bit more analytical then usual.  This will help with issues such as recognizing common threads in similar cases and, in general, moving beyond the facts of a case. 

Study groups with fellow students are popular because analysis is helped along by the process of brainstorming with others. Don’t spend all your time cramming facts.  Take time to participate in a little give and take with students and faculty. 

Be prepared to do lots and lots of reading, especially in the first year of school.  Comprehension may be slow at first as you gradually become familiar with a new vocabulary that relates to the legal field.  Expect to do quite a bit of re-reading and don’t wait until the last minute to complete such assignments.

If you’re involved in a serious relationship, it’ll probably take a beating during your time at law school.  Like medical school, your legal education will consume most of your time.  Those near and dear to you should be prepared in advance and shouldn’t thrust unreasonable expectations upon you while you’re deeply involved in your studies. Those who really love you will understand the demands of the field you’ve chosen. 

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