2 answers

Hello! I am an undergraduate student majoring in Public Relations and lately law school has been heavily on my mind. I would like to know how the journey of being a law student is, and how many years it took to graduate law school. Any helpful tips and advice are highly appreciated!

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2 answers

Bart’s Answer

Updated New York, New York

Hi Yanet! This is a great question and one that I think people should ask more often when considering going to law school. The journey of being a law student can be one of the most rewarding experiences. You will be challenged, you will be taught how to think differently and with an eye to spot issues and analyze problems with a trained eye, and of course (and most importantly) you will probably work harder than you ever had before during your previous schooling. Law school should be treated like a full-time job and to be as successful as possible, you will need to devote yourself to learning and studying every day to ensure you know the material for your exams. Different than in high school or college, most law school classes have only ONE exam for the semester or entire year, so it's critical to ensure that you know the key cases and class material. Your first year of law school is by far the most important as it will lead to getting your first internship or job, so getting the best grades that you can should be the focus. Working with a study partner or group can help, making a very detailed class outline along the way, and taking timed practice exams are also very useful ways of ensuring success. I personally knew that I would not be ready to go to law school after college, so I took two years and worked as an accountant before attending law school. Having that real-world working experience helped me mature and strengthen my work ethic and it definitely prepared me for the challenging IL year. I found that I was much more prepared and less stressed out than those students who went to law school straight from college and I think it's the single most important advice I could give someone who wants to become a lawyer. Good luck with you journey into the law!

Bart recommends the following next steps:

  • Consider working for a year or two after college to gain some experience and enhance your work ethic and maturity
  • Once in law school, be very focused on working as studying hard and committing to doing everything you can during your first year to ensure your success

Daria’s Answer

Updated

Graduating from law school takes three years.


Application processL (skip if it's not relevant to you)

Based on my experiences, to get into law school, the most important pieces of your application are: (1) undergraduate grades, (2) LSAT score and (3) have a unique background / life experiences.


However, you don't need to excel and perfectly fulfill all of these factors combined to be considered a great candidate. A low undergraduate score and lack of experience can be made up by a stellar LSAT score, while a lower LSAT score could perhaps be made up by a fascinating life story. More specifically, while you cannot go back and change your undergraduate grades, you have complete control of your LSAT score. Take several months to study and do as many practice tests as you can. There are a lot of resources online—including free practice tests—that will get you ready. It is a completely learnable test, but requires mental fortitude and perseverance.


But overall, I recommend you take at least a year off between undergrad and law school to travel, work, and explore the world. It will make your application stronger and teach you things about the world you may have not known before. Also, you can use these experiences to think about what kind of lawyer you'd like to be.


Once you're in!

Law professors in U.S. law schools use the socratic method when lecturing. What this means is that they prefer the lectures to be more interactive with participation from all students. At some point they could cold-call on you (i.e. randomly call our your name to answer a question). But fear not! While this sounds scary, it actually teaches you a lot on how to speak in front of crowds and become more confident in general. Reading and writing are two important qualities that one should have if in law school. While you're still in undergrad, really try to hone in and enhance your reading and writing skills if that's an area you think you'd need help with. Also, don't be afraid to ask for help and create professional relationships with professors. In the end, your professors truly want you to succeed!


 Good luck!

Daria recommends the following next steps:

  • Take courses in undergrad to enhance your reading and writing skills
  • Practice volunteering in your current classes to answer questions in front of your peers
  • Start saving money (if possible). I understand this is difficult, but whenever possible try to set some money off to the side for law school tuition.
  • Regularly attend professors office hours to allow them to get to know you better. This will ensure you have a great reference for law school applications!