So, you want to be a lawyer? Congratulations on making this exciting decision! We’re sure you already know that law school can be a long and winding road, but there are probably a few things that you don’t know yet.
If this is a path you’re considering, here are five insights to help you navigate your studies and make a success of your time in academia.
First of all, bear in mind that a law program has a pretty demanding academic curriculum. Not only is the degree a long one, but you’ll need to work exceptionally hard and meet high academic standards. Top legal professionals like James Goodnow don’t achieve greatness without completely dedicating themselves to their studies!
The workload can be intense, and you’ll need to be committed, but this doesn’t mean it’s not an enjoyable experience.
Legal Research & Writing
In your studies, you’ll need to master the art of legal researching and writing. Learning how to write high-quality essaysthat are compelling and persuasive is a crucial skill that you’ll use throughout your career.
The research side of things is also essential, as you’ll learn how to navigate databases and figure out how to make sense of complicated statutes, regulations, and case law.
The Socratic Teaching Method
Many law professors like to make use of the Socratic method of teaching, which involves a lot of class interaction. You’ll be asked a lot of thought-provoking questions and be encouraged to debate and discuss various topics in class.
More introverted students tend to shy away from this rather intimidating way of learning and engaging, but this is also great practice for future public speaking, which will inevitably be a part of your career as a lawyer.
Networking & Interning
Law school is about more than just classes, tests, and textbooks. It’s also a crucial period of your life where you will begin to build a professional network for going into your career.
Engage with your professors and fellow students, but also take the time to join clubs and organizations on campus, attend events, and even enter competitions in your faculty. When the time is right, you’ll need to pursue internships and start shaping your career, and having the right contacts can be massively beneficial.
The Necessity Of Work-Life Balance
Finally, remember that even though law school can be demanding of your time and mental energy, it’s crucial that you still take good care of yourself and don’t succumb to burnout.
Take time to engage in hobbies, exercise regularly, and connect with your friends and loved ones. Effective time management will help you to ensure that you have enough time for all your classes and assignments, as well as that crucial downtime we all need at the end of the day and over the weekends. While it’s normal for all students to work late and on Saturdays from time to time, don’t let it become the norm and rather manage your time so that you can have a few hours to yourself.