Being a lawyer is a great goal, something many students dream about as they advance through their education. The raft of hit dramas centered around the legal profession may have something to do with the popularity of legal careers. A few years in law school is an essential requirement to achieve this dream. As with all things, not all law schools are created equal. And besides choosing the right institution, there are many important things to consider. Here are some of them:
1. Your Law School Matters… Up to a Certain Point
The ranking position of a law school is a telling sign to gauge the quality of their program. But this should not be the sole determining factor in selecting a law school. You also need to think about the culture of the school. This is best found out by physical visits to the institution, not just online searches. How well mentorship is facilitated, the level of competitiveness between students, and the degree to which alumni are involved in the school’s affairs are critical filters to apply in your selection process.
2. With that Being Said, Your LSAT Matters A Lot
Your performance in the Law School Admission Test will play a key role in determining if you’ll gain entry into law school. This 210-minute test assesses your logical reasoning, analytical thinking skills, critical reading, comprehension, and writing skills. Your results will be shared with whichever institution you apply to, and their respective admission committees will assess your score to determine if you’re the right fit for their law school. A combination of your LSAT score and your undergrad GPA is used to weigh the strength of your application.
The earlier you’re able to sit the test, the better as most law schools require prospective students to take the LSAT by December for admission to the following fall semester. In fact, it is advisable to have taken the test by October of that year so that you are more relaxed and more focused. Find out the registration dates for the LSAT and avoid the last-minute rush.
3. Once You’re In, the Workload is High
Getting into law school is only half the battle—once you get in, you will find there’s plenty to be done. You will be kept on your toes (and in the library) with plenty of coursework and assignments, interspersed with the odd assessment test. As always, the workload gets heavier towards the end of the semester as you prepare to sit exams. The amount of studying you will be required to do will be determined by the combination of classes required. Interacting with students taking the classes currently will give you a good idea of what to expect.
4. On that Note, Final Exams are Important to Ace
There are many things to bear in mind when preparing to sit your final exams in law school. Time is always of the essence, so divide your time among the questions wisely. It will be sad to walk away from the exam room knowing you had the right answer questions but couldn’t attempt them because time was up. The grade you get at the end of the exam is based on how well you apply the laws to back your argument. Simply rewriting rules won’t help your cause. Grammatical errors and spelling mistakes are also picked up by examiners.
5. Remember to Have Fun
While the all-important final exam grade should remain your focus throughout your stay in law school, this should not keep you from enjoying your time in law school. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Your focus should not prevent you from taking time to unwind now and then. Feel free to interact with your fellow students, even as you maintain a healthy rivalry in academic matters. It is essential to strike the right balance between doing what’s best for your future career and enjoying the present.
If You Want to Be a Lawyer, Get Ready to Start Planning
Getting into law school is not all it takes to enjoy a successful career in the legal profession. First, you need to make the right moves to get into the right law school, including ensuring you score well in your LSAT. Once you’re in, there will be more decisions to be made to ensure you get what you went into law school for, while maintaining a healthy study-life balance. All in all, plan well in advance. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.