What Law School is REALLY Like

I'll be honest, before my first day of law school I was super nervous. I had relied my expectations on movies and TV shows like How to Get Away With Murder - all of which make law school seem really freaking scary. Let me ease your nerves by saying that this is not the case. You aren't going get screamed at or patronized in class, but let me tell you - it is really nothing like college. Here is what law school is really like.




You will most likely have assigned seats.

Yep, you read that right. Kind of like grade school but you get to initially pick who you sit with. Professors will make you sit in the same place every class and will most likely utilize a seating chart. They do this so that they know who is participating, who is missing from class, and who is up next for cold calls. It's honestly kind of nice so that you don't have to pick a new seat each class - but make sure you get there early so you can get the seat you like!


You don't get to pick your classes your first year.


During 1L you will need to take the required courses and will not get to pick the times, days, sections for these classes. Essentially, your schedule is made for you. You will also be assigned to a section that you will have classes with every day for the first year. 1L classes consist of: Civil Procedure, Contracts, Criminal Law, Torts, Property, and Legal Writing (and Research). This may change per your school but generally these will be your main classes. 


You will get cold called.

This was probably something I was scared most about before coming to law school. The first time I got cold called I was not expecting it - at all. I am not the greatest public speaker so things like this make me nervous, but don't worry it really isn't that bad.

 Even if you are completely unaware of the answer the professors will help you along. But that doesn't mean you are off the hook! Make sure you are familiar with all of the assigned cases and reading and you will be fine. In fact, it will help you with your public speaking skills. 

Yes, there is a crazy amount of reading (and you actually have to read the books).

Law school homework is pretty much all reading (besides writing for your legal writing class). You will not have any other school work besides reading and taking notes on what was assigned. This is because there is A LOT of reading. Per class, I would estimate around 30-40 pages per class, per night. Because of the amount of notes you need to take on this, this can take a couple of hours per class but you get used to it as the semester goes on and you are able to read it faster.

 One really great tip I followed throughout law school was to make outline of my reading as I learned each topic. It really helped me prepare for finals early on. Check out these tips to help with reading and studying cases. 



Your finals will be worth 90-100% of your grade.


This is the harsh reality of law school. So much rides on your final grade that it can put an insane amount of pressure on preparing for them. Don't let this get you down. If you read carefully throughout the semester and outline you will be fine


Sometimes, classes will have midterms that are worth a portion of your grade but many times professors will have midterms with advisory grades (grades that don't count, but give you an idea of how you are doing. Finals are also curved so keep that in mind. 


You can still go out and have fun (don't worry). 


I was under the impression that I would never go out and be stuck in the library all of the time. This is NOT the case (unless you want it to be the case). Our school hosted bar reviews where we would go to a different bar every week to let loose. Some of these bar reviews got pretty crazy and we really had a great time. 


WARNING: don't get TOO crazy because these will be your future colleagues and you may go up against these people in court one day. With that being said remember to still have fun and be able to let loose from studying. 



Comments

  1. How many times do professors cold call?

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    1. It really depends on your school. I was cold called about 3 times per class per semester (really not too bad in the scheme of things).

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  2. Spot on description!

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  3. Thank you so much for your blog. I'm only just preparing for my LSAT which I intend to take in October (in the U.A.E.). It's very insightful to go through your blog and get an idea of what to expect.

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    1. I'm so glad you like it! Good luck on the LSAT and if you ever have any questions or need advice let us know :)

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