View Full Version : More law school questions


Chicky75
12-25-14, 01:49 AM
My newest idea (I've had at least 10 in the last 15 years or so) is law school, which I actually had thought of way back in my early 20s, but was too intimidated to pursue. I'm trying to think of all of these different paths I've thought of as a strength, not a weakness - I'm curious about a lot of things and like to research thoroughly so I know what I'm getting into, not flaky and easily bored.

Anyway, I've seen a couple of posts about people in law school or applying and was hoping some of you could help with my research:

1. How much reading is really involved, and how in depth does it have to be?
2. Are you mostly studying with others or on your own?
3. Are there any older law students? I would probably be in my early 40s by the time I started, and while that doesn't bother me for other types of grad programs, I feel like I would be really out of place at law school.
4. I've been told by a couple of people that it helps to have a good idea of what kind of law you want to practice - do you agree?
5. Has anyone done or is anyone thinking of doing a study abroad during the program and why/why not?

Thanks for any help!

proileri
01-06-15, 08:59 PM
I'm not a law major, but I could answer a couple of these from a general point of view:

3. Being at a university where there's a faculty of law, I've seen that it's not uncommon for them to have people starting a bit older. I actually briefly had a flatmate who was in his late 50s and there for finishing his B.L., after working in something else for decades! It's a highly regarded degree, so you'd be facing all those smart kids in their 20s who seem to be 'on the track' better than you - but then again, there's probably a certain sense of elitism of 'being amongst the smarts', that might bring you together.

4. You have a correct way of positive thinking - it's true that you can use previous experience and personal maturity to your advantage. You could always find a field of law that's related to something that you have previous interest or experience in. In any case, having an idea what to do after a degree is always a good - it's much easier to work towards a motivating goal.

5. I've spent a couple of semesters in two different foreign universities. From my personal experience, studying abroad is as beneficial as you can calculate it to be before applying. When living abroad, there's a negative impact of a cultural shock, as it takes some time and effort to learn how all the things work in another country. Also, you probably won't get a full course load even if you wanted to - although it helps if you speak the local language well enough to take the same courses as the locals. However, the positive sides in studying abroad are learning to navigate a foreign culture, being able to network with the locals for future benefit, and the possibility of having good courses/teachers that are not available in your home university. So, do a +/- list and see what the outcome is.

If possible, I would try to dip my feet in the water before jumping in. If there are any suitable short-term night school / online courses etc., the experience from one of those might prove valuable.

Tisha
01-07-15, 01:41 PM
My DH is an attorney and we were married his 3rd year of law school. I've know him since our freshman year of college. There is alot of reading and I mean ALOT of reading every_single_night!!! Then, it's not uncommon for a professor to pick one student at random and for the next hour, it's just you and him/her discussing stuff. You have to know the material IN DEPTH. You need to be able to think quickly on your feet. The first day of class one of his professors said...look at the person on your right, now look at the person on your left. One of you won't be here at the end of the semester.

It doesn't matter what type of law you want to get in...you all have to take the basic classes together. It is a challenge...and something you shouldn't take lightly before you decide to do it.

Chicky75
01-13-15, 11:21 PM
Thanks for both replies. Tisha, that's what I would be most worried about - having to digest so much information so quickly. I think I could handle understanding it, but I'm terrible at remembering details that quickly, except in very particular circumstances.

Proileri, thanks for the insight & encouragement! I actually enrolled in a course this semester that I hope will give me an idea, which starts next week. I'm just a little worried that it won't be as intense as an actual law school class. And for the study abroad, that way of approaching it helps clarify things. I would be interested in pursuing a form of law that would help in the work I do now, so something like immigration, human rights, or labor law, and I think getting different perspectives from other cultures could only help. And though I don't speak any other languages, I've lived in 3 other countries, so I don't think the culture shock would be a problem.

lacaminante
01-14-15, 10:45 AM
Chicky75, I am in my last year of law school now. It is pretty rough, honestly. I had a really hard time handling it. What Tisha said is true- TONS of reading the first year. Not uncommon to have 50-75pg of very long dense reading per class per day. I had a very hard time keeping up. The first year you won't be able to know what is important out of the cases, so that makes it hard to skim or skip part of the reading. Getting called on in class is hard too. Fortunately, that is not part of your grade. Unfortunately, 100% of a class's grade is based on the final exam. Lots of pressure to perform on that one exam. And, unlike lots of other grad programs, law school grades really do matter and it is not easy to get good grades. Employment opportunities are also bleak unless you can get into a top law school.

I recommend looking into the forums at www.top-law-schools.com for more info. It was very helpful to me when I was deciding.

About older law students- yes, there are a few, but you will be in the clear minority. About a third of my program are students who came straight from undergrad. I would estimate about 2% of students being over 30 starting out. But that's just my school.

So overall, law school is really hard. It's hard for everyone and especially hard for us adhds. Very little structure, lots of pressure, grades matter a lot. However, I'm glad I went to law school because I am looking forward to practicing law.

Caveat: all of the above is about U.S. Law school. Very different system in other countries.

Spotok
01-18-15, 12:38 PM
Studying law involves ALOT AND ALOT of reading. I have a couple of friends that are studying international law and just law and both are really hard...

Chicky75
01-25-15, 03:01 PM
Lacaminante, thanks for your reply. That's really what I need to hear - the current experience of someone in law school with ADHD.

Can I ask a few follow up questions? You say that it's possible to get 50-75 pgs of reading per class, but how many times a week do you have each class? How many students in each class? Are there smaller discussion groups run by TAs or study groups that students set up to help digest all of the reading?

What happens if you're called on in class and go completely blank (or are just unprepared)?

Also, can I ask what kind of law you're interested in practicing? Have you gotten a lot of opportunities to specialize?