Off I Go To Law School (or, the End of a Saga)

Probably better preparation for the practice of law - as well as law school itself - than anything you will be exposed to in law school. (Well, law school does increase your tolerance for mind numbing tedium).

My biggest recommendation is that you do whatever you can to minimize the debt you incur. Whatever you wish to do with your law degree, I hope it comports with what someone is willing to pay you to do. You will be competing with 10s of thousands of freshly minted grads for even the most undesireable, low paying jobs. Good luck.

Oh, and the downside of busting your ass and getting that high GPA/law review, is that you might end up with one of the big firms. So much for quality of life as well as any ideals of “sticking it to the man!”

I agree, this is very important. Luckily, my scholarship covers $75k of total ~$100k tuition, and my parents are pitching in 20k (which is really, really nice of them). So, with a few subsisdized stafford loans I should be sitting pretty well at the end of it with under 10k debt. (I own my car and have no consumer or other student debt).

Thanks for all your good wishes. I am really looking forward to it, in a sick sort of way. :slight_smile:

This is exactly correct. Bust your ass during your first year, and especially during the first semester of your first year. The rest of your law school career (and to an extent, your legal career) is affected by those first grades.

One way to look at legal education is that it is an exercise in learning jargon. This is especially true of the early part. The other part is “Learning to think like a lawyer” which, as far as I’ve been able to determine over the past 18 years or so, means thinking logically and pragmatically.

Good luck! Law School was a wonderful time in my life. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

I agree 100%. I was head BAR/BRI rep at my law school, so I got paid, too. They also had (have) free overview review courses throughout law school to cover the basics on the big topics. BAR/BRI’s offices are (were) located in time’s square, and I still have friends there years later.

Two other pieces of advice:
Make friends with a lot of fellow students. It is unlikely you will go through as much with so many smart and funny people who are in a “fox hole” situation for the rest of your life. If you play your cards right, you can come out of law school with great memories, and great friends who will give you great contacts for the rest of your career.

You can sometimes learn as much or more spending a 1/2 hour in the school’s hallways as you can in 2 hours in the library. Don’t shirk on studying, but you will never learn it all, so depend on your fellow students and let them be able to rely on you. Don’t be a library hermit.

If an assigned case is confusing to you, and you just don’t understand it, go to the library, find the case in the actual published caselaw books, and read the headnotes. You can’t rely on them exclusively, but they are generally a compact, reasonable description of the case and an excellent road map.

Congratulations. My years in NYC at law school were some of the happiest days of my life.

WOw, I went to law school after working on the families ranch and teaching tourists how to rope.

I hate to break it to you, but most law school grads aren’t sticking it to the man, they become “the man” or his/her minions.

I think I learned everything to pass exams from the Examples and Explanations & the Lexis series-which I would read on top of all the caselaw. The only caveat with those is that they are books-entire books so you have to be a really really fast reader to pull off all your caselaw reading + EE & Lexis reading. If you’re in the super-echelons of lawerying, you can probably get away with just the EE & Lexis books + notes but I really needed the security of reading the cases. Class was only to see what the prof would test on (so obvious when they are belabouring certain points in class) and what their policy bent was so you can spew it out at the end of the semester on the exam.

Oh word.

I don’t know, I still count it as the best decision I capriciously wandered into even though I get really depressed sometimes (this dual love/hate relationship with law seems to be endemic) but I’m pretty certain I would have been a happier shrink than I am a lawyer, except my parents were really against Ph.ds AND I would have had to go back to community college to rack up some psych credits probably because my undergrad degree was in poli sci. OTOH this job has freed me financially for the rest of my life and that’s a big thing.