Studying law can be very exciting but also very scary! If you are worried about law school, this is the article for you.
Here are the five typical worries about law school and how best to combat them.
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Whilst there’s no denying that there’s a ton of reading, you’ll learn how to manage your time to accommodate it. When I started my law degree, I worried about this constantly. However, I learnt a great way to get through it all.
When you start, you need to read for a purpose. Come up with a few questions you have at the start of your reading and see whether these have been answered at the end. As well as this, read smart – start with the introduction, go to the conclusion and read the topic sentences to figure out the gist of what is being said. This will quickly help you understand the author’s argument.
This is a much smarter way to get through the reading than reading everything word-for-word.
Law is seen as a demanding degree, and to an extent, an elitist one. Part of the reason it’s seen as demanding is because a lot of students will be new to the subject. If you were like me, you wouldn’t have done A-level law, so this is a worry.
After completing first year, I can attest to the fact that law is challenging. However, there are ways to combat how difficult it is, using the following tricks:
Cases, statutes, journal articles, concepts, theories, quotes, academics, judges. As you progress through your law degree, the number of things you are expected to remember increases. But there are a few ways to make revision effective and memorise more.
Learn how to mindmap, and do so in a way that combines words, images and colour. This will help things stand out and make things easier to memorise. Something that I do is try to condense an entire module into an A4 page and then into a couple of trigger words that help me describe bigger concepts.
With the sheer volume of reading, seminar prep and revision to do, it would seem that you wouldn’t have much of social life. However this is very easy to combat.
As you learnt above, you can easily get through reading if you read with a purpose. When it comes to preparing for seminars, the questions that you come up with before you read can easily be taken in to your seminar if they remain unanswered by the end of the reading.
When it comes to having a social life, the first step is to come up with study groups. Although not social in the usual sense, having friends around talking about topics in law can definitely make your time more enjoyable.
If you start to feel like you are in a bubble, you can join societies. This is the perfect chance to meet people, go out every once in a while and have a social life.
So, the easiest way to have a social life is to join societies and talk to people. Do not get caught up and drowned in work. Obviously don’t prioritise having a social life over doing well in your degree. Try to find a healthy balance.
The legal profession is competitive. More people than ever are studying a law degree or converting to law from a non-law background. As such, you might be worried that law school is full of highly motivated, aspirational students all competing for that golden training contract or pupillage. But there are ways to combat this.
Always believe in yourself. You have to have faith in order to sustain you throughout your degree. Don’t worry about how you are doing compared to other students in your cohort. Focus on yourself and make the most of your time at university.
There are tons of books you can read to increase your employability. You can get involved with all kinds of volunteering and societies. It’s up to you what you take away when you graduate.
In short, everyone worries about one of these things before starting law school. It can seem very daunting. However, it is an enjoyable time where you get to immerse yourself in a beautiful subject filled with all kinds of skills you will develop. Use these tricks to combat the above worries and look forward to the next few yours. They will fly by.
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Author: Ali Chaudhry
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