As a law student, what is the most challenging aspect of law school for you? What makes life during law school difficult?
Is it that you have no time, you have little money, the competition in law school is stressful, relationships are difficult during law school, attorney job hunting is competitive, or the constant criticism in law school becomes too much to bear? Here is a list. Which one has been your biggest challenge?
No Time in Law School
Law students could always use more time. Law students are busy with an infinite amount of studying. That is, the readings for class are difficult to complete, and even if a law student does complete them, the case readings present a number of new concepts that law students could study further. As a result, law students could consume all their time studying and leave little time for any other aspect of life.
No Money in Law School
Law students typically spend over $100,000 in tuition and related expenses to attend law school. Since law students have little time outside of studying, they often can’t hold down a job during law school. As a result, law students have little money and must rely on savings, student loan money, or help from family to cover life expenses during law school. (See How to Buy Law School Books Cheap.)
Competition in Law School
Competition in law school is nothing new. What is new is the intensity of competition. The competition for top grades in law school increases as law schools graduate an increasing number of attorneys despite the fact that the number of attorneys in outpacing the number of available attorney jobs. As a result, law students worry about jobs and feel even more pressure to strive for good grades.
Relationships in Law School
Often in law school, relationships are squeezed out due to the other pressures that law students face. Law students have less time for family gatherings, talking on the phone, and staying in touch with friends from before law school. In addition, law students want to have friends in law school, and like all relationships, that takes time as well. Relationship break-ups and the challenges of dating add an additional challenge. In the end, maintaining relationships can be difficult because less time is available during law school.
Job Hunt During Law School
Law students start job hunting right away. Law students want a summer law job to build their resume. The job hunt heats up as a law student gets closer to graduation. In a tough legal job market, jobless law students can feel a lot of stress (see tips for jobless 3Ls).
Criticism in Law School
Law school involves a series of routine criticism. Law students receive grades or scores for midterm exams, exams, legal writing exercises, moot court, and law journal competitions. In addition, the rejection that is inherent in multiple job interviews without an offer is also frustrating.
Other Law School Challenges?
Maybe there are other categories that should be included here. Can you think of any? Which area is the most challenging for you?
This list of law school challenges is a little depressing. This is a great exercise in listing why the glass is “half empty” rather than “half full.” Maybe a future posting here should focus on the joys of law school. Until then, what are your thoughts on the challenges of law school?