It’s said that hindsight is 20/20, and no one knows that better than a law student. While I’m glad that I did make the choice to go to law school, there are numerous mistakes I made that I wish I had been able to fix. I can’t go back in time to fix them, but I can share with you the three big things that I wish someone would have told me about law school!
First and foremost, I wish that someone would have told me how intense law school is compared to undergrad. I mean, you hear it a lot that law school is hard, but a lot of people brush this off as just scarce tactics. I’m really here to tell you that law school is very difficult, and very intense. You will do a lot more studying than you did in undergrad, because you are competing with a completely different group of people. You aren’t just dealing with people that are fresh out of high school and unsure about the world. You are dealing with people that have already had jobs, already had lives, and already have a good sense of what they want to do in life. When you strip away the money and the prestige, law school is a trade school. You are studying to become a lawyer, and that definitely attracts a specific type of person to the school.
What this means is that everyone is really trying to compete with you. You need to make sure that you are handling yourself appropriately, because you don’t want to end up stressing out over something that is much more avoidable than you think.
From here, I wish that someone would have told me that things in law school are a lot more expensive than I think. Aside from the law school books I had to pick up, I also had to try to figure out how to eat, how to shop for clothes, and how to essentially take care of myself when everything seems to cost so much. A lot of people go into law school thinking that loans will save the day, but you will still need to wait for those loans to actually come in. The time before that can be pretty stressful, but it really doesn’t have to be that way at all. You just need to know where you stand and go from there.
This is also a great time to invest in making a little spreadsheet. If you already have the Microsoft Office suite of software, then this is actually a lot easier than you might imagine. You just need to make sure that you will be getting things done in a big way all the time, because that’s the only way to keep the progress up.
One other thing that you will need to keep in mind when it comes to law school is that you will want to pace yourself. Even though law school is pretty intense, you still don’t want to feel like it’s impossible to get anything done in college. You just want to set goals and follow them to the fullest. Of course, if you ever need help this is the perfect time to reach out and get the help that you deserve. It’s tempting to bottle everything up in law school and not tell anyone, but how will anyone help you if you take this path?
All in all, law school is a great time to find out exactly what you can handle, exactly what you can’t handle, and little ways to make the impossible become impossible. Jump right on in, you’ll be just fine!