There are many expectations associated with law school. Most importantly, you are expected to do the best you can to absorb and synthesize a large amount of material. Although there are many ways of doing this, with some obvious best practices, it usually comes down to time management and the willingness do the work. The work itself generally entails reading and analyzing between 20 and 80+ pages of caselaw for each class, with 8-12 classes a week.
Expectations also change as you progress in law school. As a 1L you have the luxury of focusing on your studies. Extracurricular activities like journals, moot court and clubs usually predominate your 2L schedule, but you’re still expected to keep your grades up. 3L year is either focused on getting a post-graduation job or represents the last chance of freedom, depending on your circumstance at that point.
The most important expectation associated with law school is the expectation you have for yourself. Being a law student is not the same as being a lawyer. Not many lawyers I know regret going to law school, but some resent being “stuck” in a job they don’t enjoy. This largely depends on the amount of loans you end up with, but school prestige and class rank also play a part. This is why it is very important that you have a good understanding of what lawyers actually do before deciding to go to law school.
Finally, being an attorney can be one of the most rewarding careers you can possibly have. Lawyers play a crucial role in the most important moments of people’s lives (criminal law, family law, etc.) and can have a huge impact on society (civil rights, class actions, etc.). If you’re interested in law school, talk to lawyers; get a job at a firm or law office; check out some trials or arguments at your state or federal courthouse. If you have the right expectation and correct information the rest will fall in place.