A Peek at What’s In Store for Future Law Students
Do you have your sights set on becoming a lawyer? While it can be a lucrative career for many, it’s not as easy or glamorous as it may appear on television. Students can expect to spend 7.25 years studying; 4 years at an undergraduate university, three more years at a law school, and finally 3 months of studying for the bar exam. The key to preparing for and doing well in law school is knowing what to expect. The more you know what lies ahead of you, the better you’ll be able to prepare for it.
Here are some of the key things all prospective law students should know:
Law School Can be Pricey
Cost is a big consideration when it comes to education. Law school can cost close to $90,000, which does not include any costs incurred for undergraduate school. With that said, you’ll have to be prepared to either somehow afford it through savings, scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid, or be okay with spending years paying off debt after graduation and getting a job.
Start Early on Preparing for the LSAT Exam
The LSAT exam plays a big role in determining your odds for getting accepted into your dream law school. It is comparable to the SAT for high school students, but is much more rigorous. So, it’s critical to study hard for this so that you can do your best. Starting early will allow you to gauge what you already know and what you need to study more on, and retake the exam as needed to achieve a competitive score appealing to law schools. Law schools will look for both a good undergraduate GPA and LSAT score to decide whether or not to accept a student into their program.
Be Ready to Do Plenty of Intense Reading
You may have already heard from law school students or alumni that law school is very research and reading-heavy. You’ll be reading a lot right off the bat in your first year of law school, and the materials can be dense. This is no exaggeration! So, be ready to dedicate your time and effort to required readings so that they don’t pile up.
Get Comfortable Being Put On the Spot
In law school, you’ll be put on the spot by professors. For example, one may manipulate facts of a case at hand into a hypothetical case that may or may not have demanded a different decision by the court, and you will have to come up with a rebuttal quickly. Being exposed to this regularly, you’ll be able to delve deeper into issues and implications, while honing in on your critical thinking and litigation skills. Remember that these skills take time to build, so don’t be discouraged if on the first few times it feels intimidating.
Your Social Life Will Change
As you might imagine, law school is very competitive and intense. With that said, you might not be able to socialize and party like you may have in your undergraduate years. However, you’ll have the opportunity to bond with classmates in your sections and study groups, which will help you come out ahead.
Study for the Bar Exam
The thought of the Bar exam can be scary, especially if you don’t know what to expect or how to approach studying for the test. But, it’s one of the most rewarding things many recent law school graduates do. Unfortunately, as rigorous as the law school curriculum is, it alone, is often not enough to prepare you adequately for the exam. With that said, it’s essential for students to take it upon themselves and prepare for it. We recommend limiting distractions, studying actively, and developing and maintaining a schedule so you have plenty of time to complete practice exams until you’re comfortable trying for the real deal. While the bar exam can be challenging, the right preparation can help.
There are Many Job Opportunities a Law Degree Can Provide
After graduating from law school, there are plenty of career paths you may choose to take. Aside from the obvious of becoming a lawyer, you could also be an FBI agent/investigator, legal instructor, mediator, magistrate judge, or work in human resources, for example. With the average attorney salary at more than $120,000 just a few years out of law school, it’s no wonder so many people are attracted to this field.