Law School Discussion

is law school really that tough?

Re: is law school really that tough?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2006, 09:57:48 PM »
Don't confuse time spent waiting for various responses and milestones in the application process with difficulty.

I thought the process of getting in was fairly easy. Maybe I could say it was nerve wracking (until I got the first acceptance).

But that's just me...

Re: is law school really that tough?
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2006, 12:56:15 PM »
I'm not an english major, but I'd suspect that undergrad 300+ level english class professors are just as stringent with writing as law professors are? Although writing skills are placed at a premium in law school, it is the bread and butter of english professors. Similarly, does a tax attorney know tax laws better than a tax CPA? It's probably about equal; everything is relative.


jacy85

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Re: is law school really that tough?
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2006, 03:21:33 PM »
I'm not an english major, but I'd suspect that undergrad 300+ level english class professors are just as stringent with writing as law professors are? Although writing skills are placed at a premium in law school, it is the bread and butter of english professors.

You'd think it would be the same, but its not.  English profs don't have stringent limits on what they write.  Legal writing is MUCH more concise.  The entire meaning of an english thesis doesn't turn on the use of one word.  When people say every word written for a legal writing assignment counts, they mean it.  The english majors I know in law school had a much more difficult time, generally, learning the style and technical requirements our profs demanded of us.

I think the biggest problem is that english majors become very set in their ways regarding their writing style.  When a huge 180 turnaround is required, they can't adjust.  People who come in to law school having done less writing have fewer set patterns to change.  Just my opinion.

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Re: is law school really that tough?
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2006, 07:17:44 AM »
I agree with the OP that law school can look deceptively easy.  At it's core, law school is just reading for three years, write a few paper, take tests at the end of semesters, and you're done.  The curve prevents people from failing out, so you don't have that element to worry about.

The issue comes when you read that first case.  This is typically how it goes.  You go to orientation and get your class schedule with the first day's assignment.  It's 10 pages long.  You sit down 30 minutes before your favorite TV show is on and think, "I'll just bang this out really quick."  You start to read the first case, which is likely to be about a page and a half or less, and it takes you an hour.  When you start to read this stuff, it can feel like you're illiterate.  Being able to read and having 20 years of practice is little help.  This stuff will just seem so dense.  Obviously you get the hang of it, and once you learn how to read the cases, I think most people will agree that a lot of the concepts aren't that difficult to understand.  It might be difficult to understand each concept in-depth, but most concepts are fairly easy to get a basic grasp on them.

But then you have the volume of reading.  It will probably average something like 20 pages per credit hour.  So if you have 15 credits of substantive classes, you'll be doing 300 pages of reading per week.  Sometimes it will be a lot more.  One of the torts professors assigned about 40-45 pages of reading for each class period.  Torts was every day.  A light week of reading in just that class would have been 150 pages.

And then throw legal research and writing on top of that.  Even if you blow it off, it still takes a lot of time to create a brief that even looks like a good faith effort, much less something that might get you above a Pass.  It's very easy to spend a lot of time on legal writing too.  More than one person's strident belief that they would not devote a lot of time to LRW died when they got interested in the topic.  And the time they spent on the project tripled.

I agree that a lot of people exaggerate how hard law school is.  It's not going to be like One-L, not by any stretch of the imagination.  But a lot of incoming 1Ls underestimate it.  You can make law school easier.  If you blow off legal writing, quickly find the most productive methods and places to study, and avoid things like extracurricular groups, you can gain back a massive amount of time and effort.  But it's up to you to do that, and it takes an ability to accept less than your best on some things, which is a rare quality among law students.

Re: is law school really that tough?
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2006, 08:50:53 AM »
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?

Reading these posts and trying to understand how law school works is like trying to ride a bike by watching someone else do it.  Get back to us in 6 months.