What is the first thing that pops up in your head when you think about law schools? Smartly dressed students? Sleepless night over the Constitution? Young people speaking Latin to each other?
These are all the common stereotypes. Besides, there are even more we took from popular movies like “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Legally Blonde,” and “The Paper Chase.”
Moreover, in our imagination, we see how successful young men and women fight for justice in the courts and victoriously declare that their client did no wrong and therefore cannot be sentenced.
And even though some of these things are true, there are things that only law students will know for sure.
If you are thinking of applying to a law school, read this first: it will help you gain a better understanding of a decision you are about to make.
5 things only law students will understand
- You will have to read a lot.
“Well, all students read a lot. What is the big deal?” you might ask.
The things are that law school students read way more than the rest of their fellows (except for those with major in Literature and History).
When you think about reading a lot, make sure you take both time and money into consideration.
Books are expensive, that is not a secret. And mandatory reading might cost you a real fortune.
Online Degree Programs writer, Aniya Wells, stated in her article that not so long ago students spent a couple of hundred dollars on textbooks. Here is what she said: “Books are incredibly expensive, and you might never use them again. Think your books in undergrad were expensive? Those prices have nothing on the costs of law school texts. Students report spending on average $500 a semester on books, many of which aren’t times that can be referenced in your professional life. Over three years of law school that’s over $3,000 in books alone.”
Of course, you can find some books in your college library, but not all of them. That’s for sure.
So, this is one thing to remember!
- Everyone will ask you for legal advice.
This is pretty common. If you study to be a doctor, everyone will ask you for a professional advice when they get some “symptoms”. Meanwhile, if you study computer science, your friends and relatives will call you in the middle of the night if their computer stopped working (as if you have a magic power to fix things on a distance).
The same applies here: if you are studying to be a lawyer, get ready to answer tons of questions about different issues with the law your friends have (including the results of elections and rebates).
However, the problem is that law is so complicated and tricky that in most cases you will need time to research the issue first to find answers to it. And honestly, you will not feel like doing it with all the pressure you live under.
Thus, unless you learn how to set boundaries and say “No”, you will soon become your family’s personal lawyer.
- You will doubt your decision all the time.
Studying at a law school is not easy. Many students report that they had to spend hours only reading different cases, leave alone writing essays, completing projects and going to the court.
And also, get ready to face injustice and many sad realities you wish you could have unseen. However, along with all this comes an opportunity to make a difference and bring a new fresh perspective into our legal system.
Oh, and another interesting fact: not only you will have to deal with your own doubts about your career choice but also answer questions like “Why did you decide to become a lawyer? Is it your calling?”, “Aren’t you afraid you won’t find a job after graduation”, etc. It is not too much fun, but you get used to it.
- The library might become your second home.
Learning what law actually is, mastering it and polishing your knowledge will take up most of your time. You will have to write a lot, take notes and fast-read huge volumes of credible sources to make it as a lawyer.
You will answer without thinking what a cause and effect essay outline consists of, as writing is a mandatory part of your curricular.
You will be the first person to enter the library in the morning, and the last one to leave in the evening. You will know all the librarians by names because it is impossible to spend that much time in a library and not know these facts.
And at some point, you will even get to enjoy working there!
- You will remember your first court experience forever.
This is very special to all the law school students: that time when you were first taken to a court will be your treasure! You will remember every detail of that day and will feel like you have chosen the right path.
And you know what? Hold on to that thought until your Uncle John calls to ask you whether he can sue his neighbor for an inappropriately tall grass on his patio (just kidding!)
Being a law school student means having to dedicate first several years to studying and then the rest of your life to polishing and growing your expertise. It is a never-ending work, but it is worth it.
If you feel like studying law, then read this article to make sure you know all the truth about law school before applying to them. The student loan for such students might reach up to $100K, so it is better to think twice before applying.
And a quick question to our audience: are there law students among the readers? Or maybe alums? If so, then please share what it was or is like to study there. Your stories are truly priceless to those considering this opportunity!