Law School Discussion

International student seeking advice

International student seeking advice
« on: August 21, 2009, 07:21:21 PM »
 Hello. I just started my first year at law school couple days ago and I found the classes very intimidating.(Especially when professors started calling on people to ask a bunch of questions, I totally panicked) Despite how many of my classmates expressed the same concern when I talked to them, they seemed to do pretty well when they were called on. To be honest, I am not a good speaker at all. Given that I am an international student, I am actually a pretty bad spearker. (I have an accent, I'm very slow when I talk or respond to other peoples' comments or questions, and  often blank) I do think my daily conversational skills are ok, but when I have to describe something complex, thats when I just blank and often feel like an idiot unless I prepare for it for a long time beforehand. On the other hand, I do reasonably well with reading and writing things. I do love reading difficult passages and writing out my thoughts on essays. I scored 161 on the LSAT, which is not a horrible score for someone who speaks english as his second language.
The Socratic method scared the hell out of me and I just couldn't focus on what the professor was saying because I was worried about being called on. I'm just wondering if this is common in law school or if there are any thing that I could do to survive law school. Please give me some constructive advice on this. I would really appreciate it if someone who has been thru their first year tell me what I could do. Thanks.

Re: International student seeking advice
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2009, 08:32:41 PM »
Forget about being called on and worry about your exams at the end of the semester. You're graded on exams, not whether or not you sound super-articulate and know the right answer to every idiotic Socratic question the prof asks. Right now, just focus on this.

In the long run, you'll need to be a good public speaker or at least be able to handle yourself in interviews. I've actually heard of some international students being discriminated against because their spoken English is not as polished as their written work. I'd recommend signing up for a Trial Advocacy course 2L year, joining a public speaking/mentoring organization like Toastmasters and/or participating in Moot Court if at all possible.