Am I cut out for law school?

August 13, 2010

If you’re thinking about applying to do law, you’re probably also wondering if it’s right for you. Prospective law students often feel they’re not “good enough” or not “cut out” for law school. Here’s our take on three common misconceptions held by would-be law students.


“Thinking on your feet” isn’t my thing


TV shows about lawyers have a lot to answer for, particularly the American ones. They give the impression that to do well at law it’s necessary to be a think-on-your-feet-high-school-debating-champion type of person. Not true.


There are plenty of brilliant law students (and lawyers) that can construct amazing legal arguments but can’t speak off the cuff. I’m in my final year and I can only think of one subject I’ve done where those fast-thinking and fast-talking American TV lawyer skills would have really come in handy. Even then, the key in that subject was preparation.


If you are into things like debating, there are some great extra-curricular activities at uni (such as mooting and witness examination) that you’ll be able to sink your teeth into.


I haven’t done Legal Studies

A substantial number of first year law students haven’t. I didn’t and I thought I was going to be at a real disadvantage. It turns out that the advantage Legal Studies gives you as a first year law student only lasts for about the first two weeks of your degree when you’re learning the basics. If you haven’t done Legal Studies it’s not going to be a problem.


I’m not smart enough

I’m going to let you in on a secret. If you can get into law school, then you’re capable of doing well at law school. Simple as that. The only catch is that you may have to work for it.


Studying law is challenging and sometimes demanding, but that’s not to say it isn’t interesting or rewarding.


If you haven’t worked it out already, my message is this: you are good enough and smart enough and if law is what you want to do, then don’t hesitate. Apply and keep your fingers crossed. I’m sure I’ll be seeing you in a start of semester queue at the Co-op Bookshop sometime soon.


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