Tuesday, September 18, 2007

2nd Year and Beyond, Law School Tutorial Finale

This is the 5th and final installment of Law School Tutorial.

See, once you make it past year one of law school, there isn't really much else to know about the Law School Process. You know how to read the cases, you know how to outline, and you know how to take exams. My personal belief is that law school could easily last 1-2 yeara with a 1 or 2-year mandatory apprenticeship so law students could actually learn how to be lawyers. Which, of course, would help them when they are actually lawyers.

But anyway, during Year 2 and Year 3, you will continue to be busy. When you are able to choose electives, you may choose courses that will prepare you for the bar exam, you may choose courses you are interested in, you may choose courses in the area of law you intend to specialize in, or some combination these approaches. What matters is that you will still be busy, you will still have to take final exams, you will still have to write papers, and you will still have professors who use the Socratic Method. But on top of this, you will have to begin thinking about Life After Law School. You know, when the reality of paying back your student loans sets in coupled with a potential rough job market coupled with a possibly-lower-than-expected starting salary.

The day you take your very last law school exam you will feel great relief. You are are done studying, you are done memorizing, you are done cramming possibly forever! Oh wait.... except for that pesky Bar Exam, of course.

The Bar Exam is a whole other beast, I address it specifically here.

I hope you enjoyed my somewhat joking, somewhat serious Law School Tutorial. Coming from a blue-collar background, I realize that it is a great privilege to go to college, let alone law school. So in all honesty, I hope my tutorial isn't misinterpreted as a whiney piece by an overprivileged brat.

Because, for sure, there are worse life experiences than having to attend law school. And overall, I do not regret attending law school. But, if I could do it over again, I would have attended a public school to reduce my student loan debt.

Learning the law is largely a self-taught endeavour- it's almost like learning a language on your own, while it seems like the people who are supposed to be helping you (your professors) are just tricking you or "hiding the ball." While that may be your perception, it's probably true.

But seriously, law school has given me confidence, the ability to make a living, practical skills, and ironically, the tools with which to intelligently question the legal system that I so diligently learned.

For those of you currently in law school, I wish you the best of luck. Hopefully you thought long and hard about your decision to go to law school and you are now sitting in class with some good reasons for being there. Try to stay true to that, because there will be inevitable road blocks and challenges that you will meet in your 3 (or 4) years of law school.

And for those of you who are thinking about going to law school, well.... it's still not to late to back out ;-)

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