IS LAW SCHOOL HARD?


        Due to many unfounded myths and a lot of speculation, most non-lawyers have the impression that law school is impossibly hard and that it require students to have super-human abilities in order to succeed. This myth is allowed and even propagated by the law schools and lawyers themselves … there are no negatives in allowing others to believe that they are the "smartest" or the "best" because they were able to pass law school.

 

        I am being honest here honest; because I do not believe in pounding my own chest and because I have no interest in making myself look better to others, I have no problem stating that law School is NOT THAT hard. The hardest part about law school is actually just the process of getting accepted into to a law school.

 

        I know that I have probably just raised the hopes of any hopeful lawyer who happens to be reading this, which is my intention, but I must make one major clarification: even though law school is not as hard as most people believe, it is probably going to be the most difficult set of classes that you have ever taken. You should understand that law school can very easily become "that hard" if you allow it to, or if you just don't have the necessary skills. Let me explain:

 

Law School's Difficulty In General

         I compare the law school experience to that of military boot camp. The goal of your school during your first (1L) year of law school is to break you down and train you to through habit to think and write the way you are expected to as a lawyer. They do this by forcing you to read thousands of pages of dense text every week and then forcing you to answer difficult questions regarding that reading, at will, in front of all your peers. But do not fret, if you have readings skills, are fairly logical, and can take efficient notes, you will do just fine.


        It is still a grueling experience, but you have to remember that every one of your classmates is experiencing the same packed schedule and stress, and that you are all graded against each other, not a set scale.

 

Diligence

         Due to the massive amount of reading for your classes, plus the random writing assignments, to the ever-stressful final exams, the main skill that law school requires is that you be diligent. If you can force yourself to read your assignments every night, take good notes, and build your own outlines, you will have no problems meeting all of the necessary deadlines.

 

Necessary Skills


         Reading: Even though diligence is the most important skill of all, you must still be extremely competent in the areas of reading, writing, and logic. If you have a reading disorder which slows your pace, you will have to work that much harder, but it can still be done. I personally know of a lawyer who passed law school despite being blind. His wife read all of his assignments to him every night and he is doing fine.

 

         Writing: If you aren't a great writer, work on it. Writing is easy if you do a little research on structure. Work on simply stating whatever idea you wish to discuss, then use each following sentence as a necessary step in proving or describing that idea with little redundancy or useless embellishment. That is the very essence of legal writing.

 

         Logic: Depending on your current education level, you may have never experienced formal logic, but I guarantee you use it every day. The trick is to use facts and facts alone in your work, never belief, thoughts, or assumptions; ONLY what you can prove. You need to be able to spot these facts in your readings, and piece them together to make logical arguments.

 

Conclusion

After reading this article in full, you may not believe my statement that law school is not overly difficult. Let me assure you though, that anyone can excel in law school as long as they have the very basic skills and have the diligence to work as hard as they have ever worked.