We’re sure you’ve all come here with your own set of ideas and expectations of what law school will be like. Some of them may scare you on what lies ahead. Others may just excite you to start your journey.
Before you get started, here are a number of ideas and expectations we, and many others before us, have all had before we started our own law school journeys. We bet you’ve come across these too. We’ll save you the trouble. They’re myths, and there’s more to them than what meets the eyes.
- Law school will get easier.
Law school is hard. That is one thing that is definitely not a myth. It does not get easier, but you will get better. Think the amount of readings you’ll have to face during Intro to Law is a lot right now? You won’t be thinking that after the semester is over. A hundred pages all for tomorrow may seem like a lot as of this very moment, but you’ll be able to condition yourself to read all that and more in no time at all. Recitations may have you shaking the first time around, but sooner rather than later you will be able to recite cases and provisions like a pro. By then, you won’t even have time to think about how hard everything has become, because coping with law school and doing the work has already become second nature to you.
- Law school is all about studying hard.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you study, you’ll get called for recitation to respond to a running question neither you nor the five other blockmates called before you know the answer to. Sure, it will bring you down after all the hours you spent reading the assignment, but don’t let it get to you. Pouring an hour or two on a single case may be considered studying hard, but when there are a dozen or more cases you need to prepare for along with it, you might have to rethink your study method. You see, studying hard is one thing, but studying smart is another. If you want to make it through the next four years of law school, we suggest that you do the latter. Take notes. Focus on the essentials. Make digests and reviewers if you must. Find out what strategy works best for you.
- Law school will eat up all my time.
Perhaps you’ve all given your family and friends a PSA saying that you may not be able to see them as much as you used to in the next four to five years. That’s true, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to see them at all. It’s all a matter of time management. Got a hobby or a sport you’re in to? Make time for it when you can. The daily life of a law school student, drenched with readings to absorb and recitations to prepare for, can be suffocating at times. We all need a life outside of it all to keep us in check. So when you’re done with your workload for the day, and you feel prepared enough for the next class, sneak in a date night with your significant other, or a hangout with your friends. Reward yourself for all the hard work you’ve done, because you know you deserve it.
- Law school is a solitary journey.
You will never be alone in law school. You have your blockmates who will be with you every step of the way, and the upperclassmen who will be willing to help in whatever way they can. If you find a need for a study group, forming one with your blockmates and friends is just a click away. And even if you’re the type who likes to study alone, you’ll find yourself surrounded still with only the best support group through the barista in Starbucks who will soon enough get hold of your usual order for those late night study sessions, and your fellow students who study near your favorite spot in the library. This is all part of getting through law school – having the right team who has your back all the way.
- Law school is a matter of surviving on a daily basis.
Maybe you’ve heard the idea that being in law school is a matter of surviving on a daily basis. That’s not really a good mentality to keep around. For sure, you’ll get pretty bummed when you’ve prepared for twenty cases for a class, and then suddenly the professor announces a free cut. When you speed through a chapter in the commentary just to make it in time for class, you won’t really be doing yourself any favors. Think about everything you will go through from this day onward as preparation for the bar. So don’t just read for the sake of reading, and your next professor does look particularly scary. Read because you want to learn. Read because as early as now, you are already reaching for the stars.