Law school is both expensive and a large time commitment, which is why it’s vital to ensure that you’re going to stick with it. Make sure to ask yourself these six things before making the leap to law school.
1. Can I keep up with large amounts of reading?
While the amount of reading in law school varies, it is no secret that a lot of reading comes with law school. “I graduated from law school a long time ago, but we averaged 300-350 pages of pretty dense material per week,” law school admissions consultant Tiffany Sanders wrote on Quora. If you dread reading, it doesn’t necessarily mean that law school isn’t for you, but you may want to consider improving your reading skills before attending.
2. Do I have great writing skills?
While legal writing is different from writing you’ve likely done in the past, you will be expected to write in law school a lot. The Georgetown University Law Center published “Ten Tips For Transitioning Into Legal Writing,” in which Danielle Pineres says, “Whatever kind of writing you did before, after writing your first legal memo you will notice that legal writing is different, and that transitioning to legal writing is difficult.”
3. Am I a critical thinker?
Critical thinking will be a large part of everything in law school. Professor Courtney Lee and Professor Tim Naccarato wrote in the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law’s “Legal Skills For Law School And Legal Practice,” that “Many law students believe that exam writing is the most important skill needed for success in law school. Before you can write like a lawyer, however, you must be able to think like a lawyer.” Make sure to sharpen your critical thinking skills as much as possible before attending.
4. How are my time management skills?
You will have a large work load for several courses, so make sure that you know how to properly manage time. It’s easy to crumble under pressure when there’s a lot on your plate — try following these tips from Entrepreneur on managing time effectively.
5. Am I competitive?
Law is competitive, beginning with applications. Whether you’re trying to earn a good grade, recognition in class, or commendation at graduation, you’ll have to compete with others who are striving toward similar goals.
6. How would I work in this kind of environment?
Before committing to any law schools, make sure that your interests align with the environment that you hope to be working in. Try interning or working at a law office as a paralegal. This will give you a taste of what life will be like post-law school. Additionally, meet with a current or former law student to get insight on what the lifestyle is like. You don’t want to spend three years and a large amount of money on something that you won’t end up liking.