Many students aspire to get into the top law colleges. But the actual life starts after getting an admission into the college. The actual experience of a law school is very different from that in the mind of the students. So to be a successful law student, you must be prepared for what law school throws at you. Here is a piece of advice for aspiring law students to be considered before entering a law school for a smooth journey.
Things to Know in Life as Law Student
1. Intense Reading
Reading is crucial in each law student’s life. Law students are often seen clocking up the library hours because a law school expects you to be a voracious reader. From statutes to articles, journals, research papers, even literature and poetry, Law school requires extensive reading. There is an art to managing reading skills, and you will get advice from older students in the college, but it does take a while to get used to the pace of learning.
If students are not habitual to reading, they should not be discouraged. However, students who read are a bit ahead in the process. If you are a beginner, reading is not a difficult habit to cultivate in your daily routine. Do not pick a 1000 page judgement from the start; the best approach is to start with fiction books. These books may not be related to your legal aspirations, but fiction books keep you hooked, and it will be easy to build a reading habit.
When you start Law School, it might consume a lot of your time. Case laws, judgements, etc., will need to be memorized with legal jargon. But know that everyone else is starting with you, and with persistent effort, you’ll get there.
Reading will not only help you in your professional life but also in your personal transactions and finances. Reading an insurance agreement, a contract, a tax procedure will become easier after reading judgements, cases, and statutes.
2. Academics is Not Enough
Students are very competitive in law schools; they are overly academic, memorizing all the cases, acing all their exams, learning legal maxims. But you must understand that performing academically is not enough to succeed, so students should invest time in developing other essential skills as well.
Students should invest time developing their communication skills, establishing mature friendships, working on public speaking skills, building collaborative skills, and other areas essential for a law aspirant to be good at.
Participating in debate competitions, Moot Court competitions, Arbitration and Mediation seminars, and conferences, etc., are important in determining your law school success.
Developing critical thinking skills is essential as a lawyer. So you need to learn pragmatic skills which need to be applied in professional life to solve the problems.
Internships give exposure to the world outside. First-year students can start their internships with NGOs or lower courts to serve the community at a ground level. Students learn a lot with internships; when they work with senior lawyers, they better understand case presentations, paperwork, argument framing, and many other things. It is a learning experience for life. Internships provide good networking opportunities and open several doors. A law student should never forget that networking is the key, and knowledge is most powerful here.
4. Self Discipline
This is particularly for first-year students, everything is new for them, and they might take time to adjust to university life. It’s great to enjoy as a fresher but don’t lose focus and remember your aim. The best students get the best jobs. So focus on yourself and do not compare yourself with your peer group. University is a competitive place, unlike undergraduate education. All the students are after the same top jobs, so make a plan, follow a routine and be disciplined in everything you do. You will meet with all types of people, but make sure you befriend those who want to work, not play. Remember, a Law degree is considered one of the toughest degrees to obtain and promises great rewards.
A law student’s life is not only about legal matters alone. There are a plethora of social and cultural events happening around the campus where students can showcase their talents ranging from dance to debates. Starting the day with lectures to mid-day lunch break to after-college committee meetings, the day of a law student passes in no time. There are also innumerable events that make the journey memorable. If students are motivated and enthusiastic in their journey towards achieving the goal, success will follow.