I recently had a conversation with someone who was wondering about attending law school, but had some questions and concerns. Others might have similar questions and concerns, so I have paraphrased the person’s questions and answered them here.
POTENTIAL LAW STUDENT: If I describe myself to you, could you help me decide whether law school is right for me? I’m not sure if I should attend law school and whether I would be glad I did after I graduate.
LAWSTUDENT.TV: In general, most people who attend law school are glad they did, despite how challenging it can be, because law school rewards graduates with an exceptional understanding of
- society and government,
- options for recourse when rights are deprived, and
- the complexities of business and law.
Law school attracts people from all walks of life, people with a variety of interests, and people with a variety of skills. For this reason, I hesitate to encourage you or discourage you from law school when all I know about you is described in a few words here.
Instead, I can address your concerns, questions, and descriptions of yourself in light of how they would relate to law school and the practice of law.
POTENTIAL LAW STUDENT: I love to read and communicate my ideas.
LAWSTUDENT.TV: Your love for reading will serve you well in law school and as a lawyer, because law school and the legal profession involve much reading. Similarly, your love for communicating ideas will serve you well, because reading, analyzing, and communicating are essential parts of law school and law.
POTENTIAL LAW STUDENT: I have difficulty in organizing my thoughts and words when speaking and writing, especially with complex subjects.
LAWSTUDENT.TV: Law school is excellent at helping students organize thoughts and ideas into oral or written form. If you want to improve the organization of your communication, I can think of no better place than law school because law school teaches you to discuss and analyze abstract and complex ideas in an orderly way. Don’t worry that you don’t know how to do this before law school—you will learn it there.
POTENTIAL LAW STUDENT: I want an advanced education, to increase my knowledge, and assist others by providing helpful advice.
LAWSTUDENT.TV: Law school would be one of many advanced degrees where you could become educated, knowledgeable, and valuable for your advice to others.
POTENTIAL LAW STUDENT: What does it take to prepare for law school? Should I take a writing course?
LAWSTUDENT.TV: To get into law school, it takes a high LSAT score and good college grades. To do well in law school, it takes a lot of time for reading and preparing for class. In other words, there isn’t much you can do before law school to improve your performance during law school.
A writing class could be helpful if your writing is below average for a college graduate (for example, if you struggle with basic grammar, punctuation, or organizing an essay), but since legal writing goes so far beyond traditional writing, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. As a side note, there is a good book that explains how lawyers think and write legal arguments, which might make for good reading before law school: “Getting to Maybe, How to Excel on Law School Exams.”
For more advice on law school and pre-law school questions, consider reading previous articles for pre-law students.