Law School Discussion

Is law school really as hard as people say?

Re: Is law school really as hard as people say?
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2006, 01:25:12 PM »
There are schools that are not super-elite that work to breed a cooperative atmosphere. It's something I didn't find out about my school (ND) until I went to admitted student day, so your best bet is to do some serious research in that area once you start to narrow down your list.

Re: Is law school really as hard as people say?
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2006, 01:50:06 PM »
Queen,
 
I'm not trying to discount what you say, but I think it's important for those who don't attend law school to understand.

All schools say they don't endorse competitiveness/breed a cooperative atmosphere. And to an extent they are right.

Most students share notes if asked. Nobody hides books in the library so others can't find them. All students make friends, go out and socialize with other students. But...

Unless everyone makes moot court who tries out

Unless everyone makes law review who wants

Unless everyone gets interviewed at big firms who chooses

If students are ranked in any way based on grades

And mostly, if there is a mandatory curve, there is competition.

It may not be outward, but you can't "win" just by knowing what you need to know about the law. You can only "win" by knowing more than other students.

And that's why even when the material is easy, it becomes hard. Because if you learn the concept you still have to show you know more on the exam than your peers know in order to outperform them.

There are schools that are not super-elite that work to breed a cooperative atmosphere. It's something I didn't find out about my school (ND) until I went to admitted student day, so your best bet is to do some serious research in that area once you start to narrow down your list.

jacy85

  • *****
  • 6642
    • View Profile
Re: Is law school really as hard as people say?
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2006, 02:00:14 PM »
First, I agree w/ what everyone said about legal writing.  You're coming to it with a blank slate in some ways, and don't have too many ingrained stylistic habits that must be broken.

Second, the point about the curve and competition is a pretty fair one.  *Everyone* knows the material.  The key to doing well is understanding how to apply it and argue both sides of an issue.  The concept of consideration in contracts is pretty basic, but knowing how to take that concept and apply it to an exam hypo in an organized and logical way is completely different.  Furthermore, you can't just apply the doctrine and say, "party 1 wins"  YOu have to lay out what party 1 will argue (how the specific legal rule applies to their case), adn then turn around and argue what the otherside will say (how the legal rule doesn't apply, plus any additional rules that would give a favorable outcome) and in the end, say which one you think has a more plausible argument.

So the concepts are easy, but the application is difficult.  So it's both easier and harder than people say.  And lack of time management skills is fatal (but you don't seem like you'll have that problem)

Finally, 2L is worse than 1L in many ways.  Out of the frying pan, into the fire...

Re: Is law school really as hard as people say?
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2006, 08:52:50 AM »
Also, isn't it just super elite schools (Yale, Harvard, Univ. of Chicago, etc.) that do not put an emphasis on GPA/Rank during OCI?

Her school does it by... I forget.  Lottery?  Some other random process?  It is NOT based on grades, however.  And ND is not the only school outside the top 5 to not do this.

You fill out a form listing your order of preference for each company using the honor system. e.g. you should fall close to the GPA requirement listed, but you aren't going to be denied from interviewing at that place if your GPA is lower. Career services then looks at your preferences and attempts to assign people based their order of preference, overall spots available, and amount of interviews each person has. Since this is a school where the population is pretty diverse in terms of regional and job-type preferences, I think the system works out pretty well. I'm not sure how well it would work out at other schools that tend to attract a lot of people who want to do Biglaw in a certain city.

yiplong

  • ****
  • 1477
    • View Profile
Re: Is law school really as hard as people say?
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2006, 09:45:51 PM »
Law school is much easier than engineering is many ways.  One of them is that the law is intrinsically easier than most engineering concepts, because law must make sense for people to be willing to follow it. On the other hand, a lot of engineering theories are downright counter intuitive.  Good luck trying to find out the logic behind 'First' and 'Follow' functions of compiler design. 

AZWildcat

  • ****
  • 678
  • What LS in San Diego looks like..
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Is law school really as hard as people say?
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2006, 10:07:21 PM »
As previously mentioned, LS is much harder than any engineering because of the competition/stress.  As was also mentioned, even at "non-competitive schools" there is all kinds of competition; it's simply the way the game is structured.  Everyone doesn't make law review, everyone isn't on mock trial, everyone isn't clerking for Thomas, etc.

Re: Is law school really as hard as people say?
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2006, 05:50:49 AM »
Some of you know-it-alls need to wait until grades come out before speaking about how easy your competition is.

Re: Is law school really as hard as people say?
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2006, 06:45:14 AM »
I think people need to realize that everyone comes in here with different experiences. While law school is not easy by any means, it may not be as difficult as other things that people have done in the past. The experience is not the same for everyone, nor should it be.

Re: Is law school really as hard as people say?
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2006, 07:46:13 AM »
Some of you know-it-alls need to wait until grades come out before speaking about how easy your competition is.

I'm with this guy (but a little nicer).  Law school is filled with intelligent people who think about the law from a variety of interesting (and often poignant) perspectives.  The fact that you "get it", from your own no-doubt brilliant perspective, doesn't mean that you are doing well.  Others may "get it" just as well, or even better - more concise and yet with a deeper understanding and broader applications - from a perspective completely foreign to your own.  Additionally, in the process of "getting it", you've had no real experience applying it, so you don't even know if you're capable of performing the task on which your success will be measured.

I'm not trying to be a downer, and it's certainly possible that the people in this thread who don't finmd law school challenging will be at the top of thier class.  I just think that 1, 2, or 3 weeks of classroom experience is an insufficient basis upon which to judge the full rigors of the first year of law school. 



I think that people on your side don't get where people on the other side are coming from. It's not that we don't think it's challenging, it's that we've been in other more challenging situations in the past that make this slightly less daunting. I'm not looking to work in biglaw. I was miserable in my last profession and feel like I will be happier in this field. I don't think I will end up in the top 15% of my class, and that's okay with me. Everyone's looking to get something different out of law school and has different expectations for themselves. I don't know that many people who have any interest in the more competitive positions, so finishing elsewhere in the class isn't that big of an issue.

Miss P

  • *****
  • 19300
    • View Profile
Re: Is law school really as hard as people say?
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2006, 08:14:08 AM »
FWIW, I think it's rather likely that QC will end up in the top of her class.

I have to say, so far I don't find it difficult, but I have no idea how I'll do come exam time, and that does freak me out a bit.  Not because I want to do anything for which class rank will be an issue, but because I want to retain my funding.