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Law schools are fairly different from regular colleges as students are expected to live the life of a professional lawyer for five years if they wish to become successful lawyers. This article will brief you about significant differences between a law school and a college. Also, you’ll get to know of surprises that law school will throw at you.

Law school will completely be a different educational experience in at least 7 ways:

Casebooks

The majority of assignments in law school are from casebooks rather than textbooks. You’ll be expected to read about several cases each night and study them thoroughly. The cases are quite difficult to understand in the first read since they use a lot of legal jargon that you are not familiar with. However, it will get easier with time. The goal of assigning cases to read is to get you familiar with the legal words, see how parties argue and judges determine cases. 

Socratic method 

Most law schools use the Socratic method to teach. In the Socratic method, professors randomly call students and ask them to answer questions on the cases assigned. Some questions are difficult and might not have an answer to them. The point of this method is to ask questions until the students don’t know the answer. This is very different from the usual lectures that students are used to.

Studying 

You have to treat law school as a full-time job because you have to dedicate at least 9-10 hours of your day to reading and studying. For that, your time management skills should be on point. 

Learning in law school is about developing analytical and critical thinking skills and not rote memorization. Hence you need to study the concepts thoroughly. For which you can create outlines or summaries of the law from the information presented in each class. The ability to organize the material into clear notes is critical to law school success.

Difficulty

Law school exams are difficult. They expect students to be analytical and write descriptive answers in response to fact patterns in a short period of time. You’ll be expected to demonstrate your learnings and apply them to the given set of facts. Usually, there are no short answers, multiple-choice questions, or fill-in-the-blanks in law school exams. The exams will test your ability to apply your knowledge and think critically.

Workload

Be prepared for a much heavier workload than you thought. Law schools require you to put in a significant amount of time and effort. You will have to understand all the readings and assignments, attend classes, read textbooks, everything in a 24-hour duration. 

You’ll deal with different ideas and concepts you probably haven’t encountered before. They’re not necessarily difficult once you understand them, but you will have to put in a considerable amount of time and effort. 

Hands-on experience

Law school will prepare you to become lawyers, which is pretty contrast to undergrad. You will get to attend numerous seminars and workshops that will help you adapt to the law school environment and prepare you for the road ahead. 

You will get real-world experience from internships, clerkships, moot court, other volunteer work, and more. This is the most exciting part of law school, and you’ll be expected to act as a professional lawyer by the end of the course, whether you’re preparing paperwork or conducting research for a case. 

Anxiety

Law school is challenging. Students are often stressed about the assignments, grades, and feedback from professors. Many students feel pressure to compete for the A grades, get internships and jobs in good companies. But you need to know how to manage stress and practice self-care. 

Students should practice simple things like exercising, eating well, sleeping, and taking breaks in between. It will make a big difference in your overall mental health. 

The Last Word

In law schools, you’re rewiring your brain to think like a lawyer and learning skills that will help you in your lifelong career. From getting a chance to try new things to working on new projects and probably meeting some great friends, it will all be a phenomenal experience. 

Also read –

Life as a Law Student
Extracurricular Activities in Law Schools

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