7 Things You Didn’t Know About Going to Law School

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By Marilyn Royce

Are you considering trying to get into law school? Before you head into a life of legal jargon and case studies, there are a few things you might not be aware of. In this blog, we’ll shed light on seven lesser-known aspects of going to law school that could shape your journey and give you a clearer picture of what to expect. From the ins and outs of studying for the LSAT to the surprising benefits of legal research, let’s explore the uncharted territories of legal education.

The LSAT: A Crucial Stepping Stone

Studying for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is often the first big hurdle you’ll encounter on your path to law school. This standardized test is not just a measure of your aptitude for legal studies, but also a rite of passage that challenges your analytical skills, critical thinking, and time management. Behind the scenes, countless hours of practice tests, logic games, and reading comprehension exercises await.

Your LSAT score can significantly influence your chances of getting into your dream law school, making it a crucial stepping stone to your legal career. You might have questions like: How long is the LSAT? How can I study for the LSAT? Can I retake the LSAT? In short, it takes approximately 3 hours to complete. There are study classes, books, and practice tests to help you prepare. And yes, you can retake the LSAT, up to 3 times in a year.

The LSAT isn’t just about memorizing facts; it’s about understanding how to analyze and interpret complex legal scenarios. The logical reasoning section, for instance, forces you to dissect arguments and identify underlying assumptions, skills that will serve as the backbone of your legal expertise. So, while preparing for the LSAT might seem like a daunting task, remember that it’s not only about getting into law school—it’s about honing the mental tools that will carry you through your legal education and beyond.

The Socratic Method

Once you’re in law school, be prepared for a unique teaching approach called the Socratic Method. This method, characterized by professors posing questions rather than delivering lectures, fosters critical thinking and active participation. But beware, it can feel like a legal jousting match! Professors challenge your ideas, push you to explore your arguments, and encourage you to think on your feet.

Engaging in these intellectual battles not only sharpens your legal reasoning but also prepares you for the cutthroat nature of courtroom debates. The relentless questioning might seem intimidating at first, but it’s designed to stretch your mental muscles and train you to dissect complex legal scenarios from every angle.

Legal Research

Did you know that legal research is a cornerstone of your legal education? From hunting down relevant cases to deciphering complex statutes, your inner detective will thrive in law school. You’ll navigate databases to find precedents, analyze court decisions, and build compelling arguments.

Your treasure hunt skills are put to the test as you find details that can make or break your case. This isn’t just about searching for information; it’s about understanding the context, identifying nuances, and connecting the dots in a way that strengthens your legal arguments. Beyond just the practical aspect, the skills you acquire during legal research—attention to detail, critical thinking, and the ability to synthesize information—are tools that will serve you well throughout your legal career.

The Art of Briefing

Under the immense workload of reading case after case, you’ll discover the art of “briefing.” This isn’t about composing a novel synopsis; it’s about dissecting complex legal opinions into concise summaries. You’ll identify key issues, rules, holdings, and rationales—the essential components of a case.

Briefing not only helps you retain information but also trains you to distill intricate legal concepts into manageable insights. This skill is a secret weapon in the courtroom, where clarity and brevity reign supreme. The ability to extract the essence of a case and present it clearly is a skill that can set you apart as a legal professional.

Networking is More Than Just Schmoozing

Law school is not just a place to bury your head in books; it’s a hotspot for networking. Building relationships with professors, fellow students, and alumni can open doors to internships, clerkships, and job opportunities. The legal profession thrives on connections, and your ability to create meaningful relationships can be as influential as your legal acumen.

Attending seminars, joining student organizations, and participating in moot court competitions are all avenues to forge these valuable connections. It’s not about merely schmoozing; it’s about finding mentors, learning from your peers, and tapping into a support network that can guide you throughout your career.