The Practical Side Of Being In Law School
While ultimately rewarding, going to a law school is a demanding experience. It is really difficult, you have to work hard for your degree and only rarely you get to have some fun during your studies. To have a chance to ever finish it, you need to be determined, unafraid and ready to study. And study you will, a lot.
Law school is not your second take at undergraduate studies
The feeling you get when you enter law school is vastly different than the one you get from college. You expect it to be pretty much the same, but you will find yourself feeling like you just got to middle school and are faced with incredibly difficult studies. It’s not “party town” like some colleges, there are no easy assignments or exams that you choose to get some free passes in school.
What you will do, instead of partying, is studying, and you’ll be doing it seemingly all the time.
A Juris Doctor degree gives no guarantees on the job market
The fact that you got yourself a sparkling new diploma and a law degree will not magically change the job market to accommodate you. You will have to work hard to find yourself a job (unless your parents are connected enough to hire you on the spot). So, with this in mind, you should remember to make your choices and do your research. Decide on what type of law you want to specialize in, what you want from work, what type of a job do you wish for and adjust your curriculum to fit the criteria needed for those jobs. And most importantly – network. Networking might be the second most important thing you can do when it comes to securing your future job position.
Be cautious when giving legal advice
As you will notice with the years going by in the law school, the more you know about the law, the less likely you are going to be giving definitive stances on legal issues. One of the things you will learn in law school is the liability for giving advice and responsibility of that advice being correct. Now, a casually given advice doesn’t have any real bearing on your responsibility, but it will make you feel a lot more cautious than you were before learning about liability.
Another issue with giving advice is that law school tends to be more theory based than cemented in practice, so, you simply will not be capable of providing some practical advice, but that will not stop your friends to constantly ask you for help when it comes to various legal issues. So, if a friend is insisting on you giving him the advice, start with a disclaimer about the possibility of it being wrong.
All-nighters are a horrible experience
Since going through law school is already a notorious thing in and of itself, it comes as a no surprise that all-nighters in law school do not really compare to what you thought all-nighters were during in your undergrad studies. Not to mention that TV shows make them seem like a lot more fun than studying about law really is. The TV show “How To Get Away With Murder“ makes it look very intense, rewarding, and exciting with recognition from your professors. It’s not like that most of the time.
The fun bits you will remember almost instantly, and you will spend your nights trying to cram decades of information into your brain by reading material not many would say is engaging or fun. To translate this – be prepared to even waste nights learning some boring info you will probably need never again.
Do not let the stress get to you
Stress is going to follow you throughout those few years you are going to be in a law school, but that stress pales in comparison to actually doing the work of a lawyer. So, remember, you will need to find stress coping mechanisms or you will crash. The stress doesn’t ever really go away and the school doesn’t get easier with time.
What you need to learn is to manage time in a way that your mental and physical health both remain intact from your experience in a law school. Juris Doctor degree will not mean a lot if you start hating law before you get the actual degree.
Now, that you have read all of this – do you feel you can do it?
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