Law School 101: Tips on How to Prepare for Law School
Compiled by: Archiebald Faller Capila
If you are reading this and you just got accepted to your preferred law school, congratulations! Welcome to the legal community and congratulations on your first step to becoming a lawyer.
Most of you are wondering how law school works. You have heard the stories from your relatives, friends, and colleagues. You have watched a lot of series and movies tackling the study and practice of law. You have read a lot of articles that inspire a generation of future legal barons and hope to become one any time soon. For you, this is a dream come true. For you, this is the start of a journey that you have always dreamed of venturing and enjoying.
To be brutally frank, the freshman year in law school is one of the hardest stages in the study of law. From the adjustment period to the culture shock it carries with it, the first year in law school is and will always be a test on whether or not you are fit to become a future officer of the Court. Law school, as many would say, is like a walk in the park—Jurassic Park.
You may have been following a lot of pages lately related to the legal world. Whether they be meme-oriented pages, support providers, legal knowledge sharers, or a simple outlet of sorts for law students and lawyers, you have done your research so as to give yourself a head start in your pursuit of that ever-elusive Juris Doctor or Bachelor of Laws degree. You may have been invited to or even searched and joined several law groups in various social media outlets in order to orient yourself in how things work in the legal scene.
And at some point in time, you will be shocked by the stories you hear or inspired by the narratives you see. Law school is a culmination of emotions that one cannot exactly pinpoint and determine. Indeed, law school is an experience for the ages. Law school is a place that is in a league of its own.
Most of you have already enrolled in your preferred law schools. Some are still trying to see what options they have. Others are already buying books and reading materials after seeing some assignments online. Indeed, the excitement of being a law student kicks in that you have this rush on what you need to do in order to eventually ace your stay in school.
And to those who are new to this page and website, we welcome you to Barrista Solutions. Our goal is not only to help every student out there review for their Bar examinations but to help them as well the moment they first set foot in their respective law schools. Barrista Solutions understands that a student alone cannot sift through an entire community of legal works. Aside from being time-consuming, the same is also taxing that it drains a student down to his or her last ounce of energy. This takes away productivity which should have been exerted in studying alone. By providing everyone with a specified list of topics one may use, he or she will no longer have a hard time thinking about matters not related to the study of law.
Contents involving legal quips are the highlight of our website. And during this time wherein a lot of new faces enter the world of law school life, we discuss some things that may come in handy for you in the long run. Barrista Solutions presents to you a list of tips on how to prepare for law school:
Do not be deceived by the number of units you will be taking in your first year. While the same may be “manageable” in the context of undergraduate studies, it is a wholly different ball game in law school.
You will be shocked as to how many books and reading materials you have to study for just one subject. You will be required to understand and memorize kilometric codal provisions, digest several cases and jurisprudence, and keep up with the teaching style of your professors. What is the best and most effective tip? Take it one day at a time.
Do not be overwhelmed with the burden of studying. The moment you lose your composure, that is the moment that you lose the fight. It is most likely that one day would require you to attend one to two subjects. Focus on those subjects at hand and do not deviate from your course. The subjects are a lot to take in if you won’t take it one day at a time.
Related to the first tip of taking things one day at a time, you should manage your time wisely. Always find time to study. Based on experience and other tips from lawyers and law students alike, it is most likely that you need to spend at least 8 hours a day studying a subject. It is not an exaggeration of sorts but a reality that you need to embrace. Remember that understanding the law requires effort and time. Sacrifice is necessary in order to achieve your goal of becoming a lawyer.
The cliché “no one survives law school alone” is true for every word. In law school, the best ability is the availability of help. Joining a group of friends who will understand you in your studies is a big help. Try to look for your peers who have the same study habits that you possess. Accordingly, you could exchange ideas with them in order to understand better the subjects that you are taking. Having a peer group in law school is important because it will help you push yourself further in your pursuit of the degree in law. Always remember that you are not alone. Even the best of us needs help too.
Always remember that there have been students before you for the same class, the same professor, and the same circumstances you are in right now. Do not be shy in asking for help. There is no shame in asking how that professor asks recitation questions or conducts examinations. There is no shame in learning a thing or two when it comes to his or her class. Always remember that pride takes you nowhere in law school. Help is everywhere. All you need to do is open your eyes and don’t be shy in asking for the same.
5. Don’t forget to take down notes
It is a no-brainer that the text of our legal system is not for everyone. It is a must that professors of the law teach this in a manner that students will understand its context and essence. Accordingly, it is important for you to take down notes whatever the case may be. These excerpts from your professors will be of big help in the long run. You will be able to dissect the text of the law in a manner that is favorable to you. Remember that your professor knows how to simplify text-heavy laws and jurisprudence. They will help you retain more information compared to doing it all by yourself.
6. Understand before memorizing
One of the cardinal rules in law school is that you must be able to understand the things you are reading before memorizing them. It is a must that you be able to put into perspective what you are reading. If you will memorize concepts right away, there is a high chance that you will forget these terms in a short period of time. Always remember that it is best to understand things first before memorizing them.
7. Never sacrifice your well-being
Taxing as it is, the study of law should not however hamper your growth as a person. As mentioned, time management is important. Never spend the whole day studying. You also need to rest and unwind from time to time. You will find it hard to function if you won’t be able to get the right amount of rest that your body needs. It is necessary that your well-being is intact in your pursuit of your law degree. While the study and practice of law is important, the same must not come prioritized over your health. Your license to practice law will be for nothing if you are not healthy to function as an outstanding member of the Bar.
8. Stay humble
Dream high but keep your feet on the ground. It is paramount that you remember your purpose. The study of law is not something to brag about. Confidence is different from arrogance. Remember that while you may know additional legal knowledge, the same is not a license to belittle people. Your pursuit of becoming a lawyer should be coupled with a just and moral purpose. It is meant to be a catalyst for change—change for the greater good that is. You cannot look down on others just because you are studying law. Stay humble because it is necessary in the practice. You must remember that people look up to you because they respect the status of the law and not because you are famous or self-serving.
Indeed, law school will be an extraordinary experience for you all. May you always be blessed with the strength and wisdom to become great lawyers in the near future. Never take this experience for granted. You are lucky to have had the opportunity to enter law school Do not waste it. May these tips help you in achieving your dreams and goals all related to the legal sphere of things. Good luck on your journey, future lawyers.
Barrista Solutions is one with you in helping students achieve their goals. Keep the faith and carry on, paneros and paneras!