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Starting law school? Here are some things you should know


First off, congratulations! Maybe you smashed your high school exams and ended up at law school almost by accident, or maybe studying law is something that you’ve been working towards for years. Either way, going to law school might be a little scary at first, so here are a few things that you should know before you get started…

Everyone will start telling you lawyer jokes

…and it will probably continue for the entirety of your time at law school, so you may as well learn a few lawyer jokes of your own.

Everyone will start asking you random questions about the law

I was so naïve about this one. All of a sudden I was being asked by relatives, friends and colleagues if I knew why they haven’t fixed the bail laws already, etc, etc. I hadn’t even started classes yet I was already being bombarded. Just tell them that you haven’t studied that subject yet and that should end the questioning.

Law students often receive requests for legal advice, but only qualified lawyers are allowed to give it. Here are some tips for handling those requests as a student.

It’s not like high school

You will hear this everywhere so I won’t bore you. A spot of quick revision the night before an exam may have worked in school, but preparation is the key when you’re studying law. Get organised and you will be fine. It is easy to fall behind and tricky to get back up to speed. Don’t let me scare you though. Thinking about how and when you complete uni work will make your life somuch easier and you’ll be able to then make time for more enjoyable events like concerts, trips and parties.

Don’t forget your study skills

Never ever forget the approaches to writing and tackling revision that you learnt in high school or a previous degree. The content and subjects are different but it doesn’t mean that you should forget the learning strategies that have worked for you in the past – those techniques are part of the reason you made it to law school in the first place.

Balance

You really do need to balance your study with your life outside of law school. This goes for everyone but sometimes law school gets a little scary and when you have what feels like a billion readings, assignments and seminar questions to complete, it feels like you are studying for your life every single night.

It’s important to take a break when you need it, rather than forcing yourself to work through. Go to the café and buy yourself that muffin you shouldn’t, or go to the beach, or pick out some nice inspirational quotes on Tumblr - whatever floats your boat. Whatever you do, make sure it’s a positive activity, because there’s no point in taking a break, only to come back to your study feeling more down in the dumps than ever.

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