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Why Law School is Just Like High School

Scene from Clueless movie

In a scary way, law school shares many similarities with high school. I'm sure you can probably relate to many of these comparisons…

You Still Spend most of your Days in the Same Building At law school, similarly to high school, you spend most your time in the one building. Your days involve bumping into (or avoiding) the same lecturers and students in the corridors, eating at the same cafeterias (which may feel like your school canteen) and lining up outside classrooms waiting for the previous tutorial to finish.

Where you sit in Class Still Matters In high school, who you sat next to in class could determine your social status: whether you were a nerd, a jock or a social outcast. In law school you can be smart by association – just sit next to the people who say all the right things and you too could find yourself with 100% for class participation or in the right study group!

Extra-curricular Involvement is Still Important In high school you were on the debating team, had a starring role in the annual play and were possibly even school captain. Things aren’t that different in law school: you’ve signed up for mooting, are strutting your stuff in the law revue, and are on the law students’ society.

Social Functions are Still the Highlight of the Year The year 10 and 12 formals were the most anticipated events of the high school calendar. You spent months deciding what to wear, where the pre-drinks and after party would be, and who would be your date. Law school is no different. The annual law ball and law cruise are the most talked about law school events of the year. The only difference is that now you can legally drink and get into clubs with your real ID!

Starting Law School is a lot like Starting High School Being in year seven in high school is very similar to your first year in law school. Your first weeks in law school will be spent turning up late to class and wandering around like a lost puppy. You will also look like a year seven student, as no doubt your uni bag will be filled with big and heavy textbooks that you probably won’t even use.

In second year you will look much cooler, just like the year eight students. You won’t have all those books in your bag weighing you down, instead you will probably just have a bag big enough to hold a tablet. By the time you get to your final year, you will be looked up to by many of your fellow law students in first and second year, who are envious that you are nearly at the finish line.

You’re Still not Satisfied with Good Grades In high school, you may have complained, “I got a band 5 … I’m never going to amount to anything!”, and it’s not that different in law school: “Oh no I got a credit! My career is over!” In both cases, those results may have caused distress at the time, but in the long run, no one (not even you) will worry about that ‘disappointing’ result on your academic record.

Everyone Still Just Wants to Fit In So you thought that when you started uni you could just be yourself. In many ways you can, but in law school there seems to be a need to conform just as you wanted to as a teenager. In high school the focus was on adapting you wardrobe to the latest fashion and following the latest boy bands. Law school has its own customs: purchasing a Mac Book Pro, having pretty stationery and perhaps even dressing up for class. You may feel as awkward as Elle Woods in her early days at Harvard, but at the end of the day, everyone is still just trying to fit in.

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