Law School Discussion

is law school really that tough?

W. M. Richards

is law school really that tough?
« on: December 13, 2002, 12:38:21 AM »
It seems to me, the hardest part of Law school is getting in.  Once you got that covered, honestly, how hard is it to read for 3 years ;)?  Is it the fact that your grade is dependent on one test for the entire  semester, per course?  That aspect might be slightly tedious, but I gotta say; I have been reading for 20+ years now, and it ain't that tough...
I'm being totally serious. This question is not a joke. What in the hell is the catch?

Martin B.

Re: is law school really that tough?
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2002, 05:15:15 AM »
The only really tough part is that everyone around you is also really really good at reading and you have to compete on a grade curve with them. Sure you can normally graduate, but if you want the highest paying jobs, you need to be able to beat these people.

Luckily, I want to work at a small firm, thus I don't need to really worry about my grades. I just need to assure that I pass.


Re: is law school really that tough?
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2002, 10:13:24 AM »
It's not just reading, it's reading difficult material, about subjects that may not be of interest to you, all the time, for 3 years.  It's also research, writing, and yes, taking exams.  The exams are not the ones you were used to in college.  They don't just ask you a question about something you know and expect you to answer it.  You have to figure out what the question is (the issue as they call it), then answer it from different viewpoints - the plaintiff's, the defendant's, evaluate who has the strongest argument, then come to a conclusion.  You do all that under tremendous time pressure too.  It's easy to get confused, and you have one chance to get it right or get a poor grade, or even fail . . .  Unless you really love the law, I don't think it's worth it.

Re: is law school really that tough?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2003, 04:41:47 PM »
It depends on the school.  At a top tier school, it's very difficult to differentiate yourself from the mean.  Everyone is a frickin' rocket scientist.  Sometimes literally.  Further down the prestige ladder, differentiating yourself from the mean becomes absolutely critical for getting big firm jobs.  So either way, it's tough.

Plus, in rare circumstances, a professor will kill you with words when you haven't absorbed the material.  It's not just reading, you have to understand the junk too.  Unlike college, you'll have to read everything at least twice or risk abject humiliation in front of your peers.  Well, not really, but you get the point.

The hardest thing about law school is that there is often a forced mean, and where you fall respective to the mean can often be determined based on whether or not the prof had his coffee before grading your exam.  You can study for days and fall below average, or study for a hour and nail it.

Re: is law school really that tough?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2006, 07:36:56 PM »
It's hard. It's deductive and inductive reasoning all the time. It's being a concise writer all the time. It's adhering to grammar like laws of physics. It's understanding the implicit relationships between numerous concepts. It's understanding how society and history influences the law.

Law school demands excellent writing all the time. The interpretation of a single word can be the difference between doing good or bad. Moreover, excellent writing under pressure is not easy. In college, there is a lot of slack towards writing and grammar. There is no slack in law school. In a way, we're required to what journalists do without the team of editors and researchers.

The only way you can truly understand is to answer a hypo and have a law professor grade it. People don't understand how hard it is. Our experience is similiar to how people disrespect vet and dental school students. They have no idea how much work goes into this school work.   

Re: is law school really that tough?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2006, 09:22:33 PM »
The first year of law school is exhausting to say the least. The rumors do have some basis. Moreover, the extent to which the difficulty of law school becomes excessive is often a personal decision.

The first year of law school becomes especially burdensome when people place unrealistic expectations on themselves and their learning curve. Think about your undergraduate education, age and life experience. The types of students that enter law school, and the personalities they have, often make for a lot of self-induced pressure to perform well, to appear astute before classmates, or to impress others.

Its unnecessary because all the other first years are having the same experience; The transition to law school, the school itself, to the teaching style and to the way classes are conducted.

Re: is law school really that tough?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2006, 09:43:30 PM »

This is very funny.  If you found getting in to be hard it seems illogical that you wouldn't assume worse is in store.

Anywho, just took day one of the bar.  So the thought that it was all down hill from the acceptance struck me as particularly droll.

Re: is law school really that tough?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2006, 10:44:32 PM »
Are you for real? Getting in is the easy part!  So you've been reading for 20 years? Well, be prepared for classmates who read faster or smarter or are just more driven to excel. Or more masochistic. Anyway, good luck with your first year....let us know how it goes. ;D
The heights by great men reached and kept, were not attained by sudden flight.  But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.  - Longfellow


Re: is law school really that tough?
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2006, 11:30:20 PM »
I will be a 1L in the fall but from what I have gathered from posts over the last few months, it seems as if law school is as hard you make it. If you desperately want to finish in the top 10% the law school experience will be very tough. However, most people on this board make it seem as if it is not too tough to simply coast through law school. Is this accurate?

Re: is law school really that tough?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2006, 11:35:35 PM »
The difficulty behind law school comes in your own demands to do well. Even if you don't plan on getting that BigLaw job, you still want to think that you have the stuff to get it. Most of the ppl in law school are over-achievers, which makes it even tougher, but more meaningful, in getting top grades, top jobs, federal judicial clerkships, law review, honors moot court, etc.