The law major is designed to provide law students and future legal practitioners the tools for logical appraisal of how the law works and the policies that underlie it. It comes into contact with almost every area of human life. This is in keeping with the firm view that the law major, specifically the study of law and justice, is rooted in humanistic traditions. It’s all about the pursuit of justice that will ultimately reflect the fundamental values that sustain human relations’ vitality.
Law touches on business, economics, human rights, international relations and trade, the environment, and politics. It deals with a wide variety of subjects – subjects that encompass legal history, philosophy, civil and political rights of every person, and the criminal justice system’s many intricacies. The law degree has always been among the most sought-after and highly respected major to study at university. Most of the students who take up law consider it the first step along the path to a rewarding career in the legal sector. While further study and training may be required before becoming a litigator, a district attorney, or a judiciary member, a law major remains an attractive academic choice among students.
The Law Degree
Law degree is notoriously challenging, and for many students, that is where the attraction lies. The unique combination of interest studies involving real-life cases inscribed in jurisprudence and the intense intellectual stimulation in the classroom are only a few factors that set law apart from other majors. As a law student, you can expect to learn how to resolve some of the most problematic modern social and morality issues. Knowing substantive law and legal procedure, students of law will have the framework to understand and inquire into human experience complexities.
Law school prepares students to have the aptitude to comprehend and work with the legal systems by developing the skills they need to excel at anything they intend to do. The legal system in the US is comprised of an interconnected system of checks and balances. This is intended to ensure that the three government branches – legislative, executive, and judicial – co-exist equally and without encroaching its independence. It features judicial, regulatory, and governmental authorities that stand as the defender of the Constitution, the highest and the supreme law of the land. Members of the Judiciary are once humble lawyers who have successfully hurdled law school and the Bar.
The Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of government and its instrumentalities work together to administer and enforce the country’s laws and regulations across the federal, state, and local levels. By direct grant of the Constitution, the federal government has supervisory authority over states and local governments. For the most part, states have the direct authority to oversee every aspect of government within their jurisdiction. Every state has the power to legislate laws germane to its social, economic, and political situation. Law schools in different states may approach legal education differently. Every law school in America is driven by the primary purpose of producing legal professionals who willingly take the oath of maintaining allegiance to the United States and faithfully obey the Constitution.
What Makes Law School Different from Undergraduate Education
It is almost a given that law school is harder than undergraduate studies. While in law school, students are required to think better and more critically. Not only that, students of law become better writers and speakers with a conviction to work towards attaining justice for all. Here are the most significant differences between law school and undergraduate education:
Classes in law school are taught differently. Class instruction in law school follows a case method of teaching or the Socratic Method. In a Socratic Method of teaching, you will be assigned to read cases after cases of judicial opinions. You will also be required to write summaries or case briefs. Unsurprisingly, many get overwhelmed by this sudden change, and the majority of law students find the courses and materials difficult to understand. While undergraduate education tends to favor memorization, in law school, you are encouraged to familiarize and learn by heart the provisions of law and judicial decisions and not memorize.
In the undergrad, professors embrace didactic teaching methods, which are more lecture-oriented. Teachers do most of the talking. In law school, you will do most of the talking. You may be called upon in class to recite a certain provision of law. You will also be asked to discuss the facts of the assigned case and the legal principles and rationale that led to the decision on the case.
The Socratic Method is an effective way for you to exercise your critical thinking skills and focus. Your ability to synthesize facts and information will aid in developing your long-term memory recall. Through this, you will be better equipped to apply your legal knowledge when the situation calls for its application. This method encourages law students to discuss ideas with one another – an ideal setting to develop confidence, verbal communication skills, and analytical skills.
If you are moving straight to law school from college, here are some of the things for you to consider:
- Every piece of information or knowledge you will learn in law school will prove relevant as you move further in your law study. Take notes for future reference.
- As a law student, expect to argue for either position. You should prepare yourself to accept that there may not be a “right” answer to every question.
Level of Difficulty
Expect a heftier workload when you enter law school. Law school, without a doubt, is a lot of work. There is a very famous phrase among the legal community, “Law is a jealous mistress.” There is truth to this. If you want to become a lawyer, there is only one way to do it: go to law school. Going to law school is akin to having a full-time job. You need to dedicate at least 40 hours, preferably more, to reading your textbooks and the case list. The law is very extensive, and it is alive. You need a comprehensive and practical understanding of the material you need to study for you to survive. It is going to take more than memorizing legal provisions. It will require focus and dedication. Think like a lawyer. Be critical, analytical, and organized. But you do not have to do it alone. If you are struggling to grasp your materials, there are options for academic assistance on campus. You can do these:
- Look for study groups to join, or you can start one on your own.
- Look for supplemental materials for you to cross-reference difficult legal principles or synthesize judicial opinions.
- Take advantage of the resources in your law library.
- Engage with your classmates or with your seniors. Your peers can be a source of guidance when you face difficult times in your law studies.
Do not get frustrated if you cannot maintain the same remarkable GPA you had when you were in college. Law school is universally harder than undergraduate education because it prepares you for the rigors of a career in the legal field. If you are very particular about your grades, law school may not be for you. Law school classes do not provide materials with a specific numeric for grading or evaluation. This means that they are less forgiving when you get a bad grade by the end of the course. But in most law schools, your grades will often depend primarily on exams. Some professors base their students’ grades on the final exam.
Law professors are very particular with grading their students strictly on a curve. Grades are final, and your professor will less likely consider personal discretion when it comes to grading.
Grades also matter in law school, especially when you seek employment after graduation or passing the Bar. Some employers emphasize good grades as a tangible indicator of your legal knowledge and capabilities.
Preparing for Law School
Difficult and anxiety-ridden days will be a normal part of your law school life, so will coffee. Anxiety and caffeine are the two constant things you will have in law school. Re-prioritizing your life so you can focus on your studies will pay off in the long-term. But there is no single path that will prepare you for law school. Students who excel and succeed in law school and become accomplished professionals come from all walks of life and academic backgrounds.
Some law students enter law school right after graduating from college without gaining significant post-baccalaureate work experience. In contrast, others delay their legal education and begin later in life. For them, they bring to their law school education real-life experiences, insights, and perspectives they have gained from years of being part of the workforce.
This is one of the many things that make legal education unique. Law schools in the United States welcome and value diversity. Diversity benefits everyone, and in law school, diversity means having a rich exchange of ideas and different points of view. You will find a diverse pool of peers and colleagues that will bring a fresh set of eyes to any situation.
Middle School Students
If you are determined to go to law school, there is no better way to prepare than to prepare as early as you can. While still in middle school, you must keep your grades up. Yes, grades may not be the only factor that graduate schools consider when vetting applicants, but they matter. Attending summer enrichment programs like the National Student Leadership Conference will allow you to gain unique experience early on in your law school journey. The National Student Leadership Conference offers a middle school summer enrichment program that welcomes students worldwide. Middle schoolers who participate in the conference explore their interests through various hands-on, interactive activities and take exciting trips and tours. Through these activities, you will develop your confidence and leadership skills to help you achieve your goals.
High School Students
If you are already in high school, you should be a bit more serious about your future. As you explore going into law school, the following steps can better prepare you for legal education:
- Talk to a career counselor: As early as high school, you should consider talking to a career counselor for recommendations on what courses to take to prepare you for your undergraduate studies. Your college education will have a significant impact on your law school opportunities.
- Challenge yourself by enrolling in challenging classes: Do not hesitate to take hard and challenging courses. Enroll in online law classes that will enhance your reading comprehension, analytical skills, and writing. By taking classes outside of your comfort zone while still in high school, you will be better prepared when you enter college. Ultimately, you will most likely succeed in law school.
- Keep up your GPA: Maintaining a remarkable GPA will surely attract your admissions officer when applying to law school. Your GPA is not the only factor schools consider when accepting applicants, but grades matter.
- Do not miss out on attending law school events: Law schools around the United States and Canada host events that welcome students to learn about law school and careers in the legal profession. You will meet lawyers, law students, and faculty members, which gives you a chance to get a glimpse of how legal education works. You can view upcoming events here to see if there is one near your area.
- Explore summer enrichment program: There are pre-college summer programs hosted by the National Student Leadership Conference where you can get an inside look into the legal profession.
The American Bar Association does not recommend any undergraduate major as an ideal pre-law course. Students who get admitted to law school come from almost every academic discipline. If you want to take the traditional route, you can major in history, philosophy, English, political science, business, or economics. But if you want to pursue your passion while in college, you may choose to major in areas diverse as science, music, art, mathematics, computer science, nursing, education, or education. It goes without saying that whatever major you select, you are allowed and encouraged to pursue a degree that interests but challenges you at the same time.
However, to excel in law school, you need to take advantage of opportunities to develop your analytical, research, and writing skills. Taking classes from a broad range of difficult courses and attending demanding instructors’ classes will help prepare you as you begin your legal education. A sound legal education provides law students a strong foundational background for you to further refine your skills, knowledge, and ethical values that you already possess.
For you to better prepare yourself for the rigors of law school, here are a few tips to consider while you are still an undergraduate:
- Enroll in law and legal history classes: Take every opportunity to learn about how legislation is approached in the country and overseas. It will better prepare you for your first day in law school. Plus, taking law-related classes in your undergrad will help you decide whether you are fully interested in studying law.
- Join a debate team or campus journalism: Having strong communication skills, both verbal and written, will give you a competitive edge among your peers. When you are a member of the debate team or part of campus journalism, you will cultivate these skills and gain a strong command of logic and written language.
- Consider taking internships with law firms, legal organizations, and courts: Working in a law firm, legal organization, or courts will give you the experiential knowledge you will only gain through hands-on experience. The practice of law is not limited to litigation. It includes supporting companies, regardless of size, working in a non-profit organization, or drafting affidavits for your clients. Pursue internship opportunities. The more you pursue in your field, the better sense you will have of what branch of law you want to specialize in.
- If you have set your eyes on a specialization, take classes in your industry of choice: Law is a technical field, and the further you study in your field, the more legal knowledge you gain. Use your college years to strengthen your foundation in whatever industry you hope to practice law.
- When you are in your last year in college, explore the possibilities of legal education through these steps:
- Pre-Law Advisor: Undergraduate studies are challenging, and institutions assign a professor to act as an advisor and assist you as you navigate through your college years. For those who plan to proceed to law school, you can request a pre-law advisor to help you find ways to gain the necessary exposure to law and the legal profession. Your pre-law advisor will also assist in your law school application. Most importantly, your advisor can help you select undergraduate courses to help you in your law school success.
- Join your campus’s pre-law organization: Pre-law student organizations can help you in many ways. These groups can be your repository of information about the process of a law school application. Your organization’s collective principle will most importantly make you a more competitive law school applicant by connecting you to invaluable resources on campus and beyond.
- Attend an LSAC Law School Forum: Every year, the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) holds an LSAC Forum in cities all over the country. This is an opportunity for law school applicants to meet admission professionals, pre-law advisors, professors, and experts from law schools and various institutions. Through the LSAC Forum, applicants attend workshops centered on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and the law school admission process, finance law school, and law school diversity.
- Visit a law school: There is no better way for you to experience what it feels like to be in a law school. You can request a campus tour from the admission office. If that is not an option, you can also have a virtual tour on the school’s website. With the technological advancements we have seen in recent years, virtual tours can give you the same experience as an on-campus visit.
- Prepare to take your LSAT: Ideally, you prepare to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) as early as you can. It helps to prepare early. This way, you can hone your critical thinking and analytical skills necessary to survive law school.
What You Need To Know About The LSAT
The LSAT or the Law School Admission Test is a key component of the law school admission process. It is required by most law schools in the United States and Canada and has been adopted by a growing number of countries. The test takes the nature of a multiple-choice paper-and-pencil entrance exam and is administered by the Law School Admission Council with the primary purpose of assessing whether or not an applicant possesses the skills required of a law student. These skills include reading comprehension, writing, reasoning, and decision-making.
Law schools consider your LSAT score on top of your law school application’s other components, including your GPA, Credential Assembly Service application, your statement, and letters of recommendation. Your Credential Assembly Service (CAS) includes your current and active CAS account, LSAT score and writing sample, undergraduate transcript of records, letters of recommendation, and payment for all reports. Your LSAT score is given the same weight in most law schools, if not more, than your undergraduate GPA. Generally, the higher your LSAT score, the more options you will have for attending law school.
When should you take the LSAT?
The test is typically offered seven times a year, but with the challenges in 2020, there may be changes in the schedule. Ideally, you schedule your LSAT early enough that your scores are already available by sending your first law school application.
What are the components of an LSAT?
Administered in two parts, the first part of the LSAT is composed of a multiple-choice exam. This part includes reading comprehension, along with analytical and logical reasoning questions. As a response to the pandemic, the Law School Admission Council has changed the exam’s delivery. Now, the LSAC is administering the LSAT through the LSAT-Flex, an online and remote proctored exam. The second part of the exam is the LSAT Writing, which is also administered online through secure proctoring software installed in the candidate’s computer. It is worth knowing that you can take LSAT Writing as early as eight days before the multiple-choice exam.
Previously, these are the four main sections of the LSAT:
- Logical Reasoning (“Arguments”)
- Two sections
- 24–26 multiple-choice questions per section
- 35 minutes per section
- Analytical Reasoning (“Logic Games”)
- 1 section
- Four logic games with 4–7 multiple-choice questions each
- 35 minutes
- Reading Comprehension
- 1 section
- ~27 questions multiple-choice questions
- 35 minutes
- Four passages: 3 passages with one author and the other is a combination of passages from 2 different sources
- Variable Section
- One unscored experimental section
- 35 minutes
- Writing Section
- One unscored section
- 35 minutes
How long will it take to finish the LSAT?
It will only take 3 hours and 30 minutes for you to finish the LSAT.
How does the LSAC score the LSAT?
The LSAT or the LSAT-Flex score will be based on the number of questions you answered correctly, which translates to your “raw score.” Each question is given the same weight. Therefore, what will matter is your total score. You will not be given a deduction for any incorrect answer. It is easier to compare scores when your raw score is converted to an LSAT scale, and this is what you will receive in your score report. LSAT scale ranges from 120 to 180, with 120 being the lowest and 180 as the highest possible score.
You will get your LSAT score once posted to the LSAT Status page, which can be accessed on your LSAC account. An email will be sent to you when your score is available. Your LSAT Score Report will include your current score along with the results of all the reportable tests. This result is valid up to five testing years after the testing year in which you took the LSAT. In a year, LSAC states you can take the LSAT three times. Or five times with the current five testing years or a total of seven times over a lifetime. You will also get your score band and percentile rank in your report. This is based on the September 2019 test administration. Also, LSAT takers will no longer be permitted to retake the test if they have already scored a perfect score or 180 within the current and the past five testing years.
Suppose you have reached the test-taking limit policy. You are not without recourse. You can appeal your case and apply for an exemption. You can do so by sending an email to TTL@LSAC.org. Make sure to provide a detailed explanation of your circumstance. It must be an extenuating circumstance that is enough to justify an exemption. It is also important that you include your name, LSAC account number, and any accompanying documents that you deem necessary for the appeals panel to view and would help reconsider your case.
The most important detail you need to include is the test date you seek an exemption. If your appeal is granted, you will be given an exemption and valid for the next test date.
Here are the basic fees that you need to prepare for when you take the LSAT. This data is based on the 2020-2021 fees in US dollars:
On top of the basic fees, you also have to pay for auxiliary LSAT fees
- Test Date Change
- There will be no charge when the test date change is done within two weeks before the LSAT-Flex administration begins
- A fee of $125 will be charged if the date change is done in less than two weeks before the LSAT-Flex administration begins
- Score Preview (for first-time takers only)
- $45 if you sign up before that first day of testing
- $75 if you sign up during a specified period after testing concludes
You can prepare for the LSAT for free using the following resources:
Selecting a Law School
Selecting a law school is one of the most important, if not the most important, decisions you will have to make if you intend to go to law school. There are many factors that you need to consider in choosing a law school or a law program. Each year, the American Bar Association or the ABA endeavors to collect data from all approved law schools in the country. The ABA shares this data publicly so law school applicants can better assess the best law school for themselves. If you are in the hunt for a law program, the following links may contain information that will help you in choosing an ideal law school for you:
- ABA Statement on Law School Rankings
- Enrollment Information
- Bar Passage Statistics
- Employment Statistics
Types of Law Programs
If you plan to practice law in the United States, you should earn a Juris Doctor or JD degree. JD is considered the “first degree” in law, but it is not exclusively for aspiring lawyers. The degree can also be an asset to those who become law librarians, consultants, or educators in the world of academia, among other careers. People who aspire to join politics or advocacy work also find it useful.
What you should know:
- JD program can be finished in three years when you go full-time, but many law schools offer part-time programs that you can finish in four years.
- An LSAT score is required for admission.
- You can earn a JD degree in an ABA-approved law school or not ABA-approved and in law schools in Canada, Australia, and other overseas countries.
- To be admitted to a JD program in the United States, you need to have earned a bachelor’s degree.
- Different law schools may have a different set of requirements for their applicants. You should know the additional requirements your law school requires so that you can apply more efficiently.
An LLM or Master of Laws degree is equivalent to a graduate qualification in the field of law. The degree is designed for lawyers to expand their knowledge and specialize in a specific law area. It is also useful in gaining international qualifications if the LLM degree is earned outside of the US or Canada. Earning an LLM degree is a sure way to advance your legal career or to further your academic journey.
What you should know:
- If you are an American or Canadian, you need to have a Juris Doctor degree before being admitted to an LLM degree program.
- International Students, on the other hand, are required to have earned a professional law degree. This may include a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or an equivalent credential that will permit you to practice law in your home country or jurisdiction. In the United States, international students who earn an LLM degree may be granted eligibility to take the Bar exam.
- An LLM degree will allow you to specialize and extend your credentials in your field of practice. If you are an international student studying Master of Laws in the United States or Canada, you will get oriented and exposed to the US and Canadian legal systems, comparative law studies, and common law legal reasoning.
- Not all law schools that offer the JD program also offer an LLM program. If you want to explore opportunities to pursue a Master of Law, you can visit the LSAC’s Guide to LLM & Other Law Programs.
- Applying to an LLM Degree program takes numerous steps. Take a look at the checklist for the application and the list of application requirements.
- International students, having a strong knowledge of the US or Canadian legal system may prove useful when applying for an LLM Degree program.
- If you plan to apply to more than one LLM program, you should sign up for LSAC’s LLM Credential Assembly Service (LLM CAS). By signing up, you can save time and effort when working on your application. In doing so, you send your transcripts and letters of recommendation along with your other documents to LSAC one time. It then packages everything and sends it to the school to which you apply. You will also be apprised of your application’s status or whenever you need to send additional documents through emails.
Master’s Degree Program
If you are interested in learning about how the legal system works but does not want to become a lawyer, this degree is for you. A Master’s degree in law offers an interdisciplinary approach to studying law and is not necessarily intended for people who want to practice law. The degree is designed for professionals who need legal knowledge to get ahead in their professional life. In the program, you can learn the intricacies of how negotiations work, the legalities of contracts, and understand the social, political, and economic impacts the law has in every aspect. With a Master’s of Law, you will be able to navigate legal procedure, even without the presence of counsel all the time.
What you should know:
- Law schools offer a Master of Science in Laws (MSL) degree, while some offer a Master of Legal Studies (MLS) degree, a Juris Master (JM), or some other variation of the degree. The only difference among these degrees is the name. Master’s degree programs are designed for students who already have a thriving professional life and are considering a career change.
- You can search for schools that offer master’s degrees through your free LSAC account.
- Unlike the three-year JD degree, a master’s degree can be earned in a year. However, a master’s degree will not qualify you to sit or take the Bar.
- Requirements for admission will vary per school, but an undergraduate degree is a universal requirement.
- You can take and complete a master’s degree in law online or on a part-time basis.
Legal Certificate Programs
The Legal Certificate Program has become an increasingly appealing option among many professionals seeking to establish a more professional qualification. Earning a Legal Certificate Program will broaden your knowledge of law or aid in deepening your focus in a particular area of study. What makes the program unique is the level of commitment it requires, and ultimately, its cost.
Having completed the Legal Certificate Program will qualify you to become a paralegal, legal administrative assistants, court reporters, or court employee or staff in general. Of course, the certificate program may also be appealing to those already members of the Bar and are already lawyers. The program is an opportunity for lawyers to earn an advanced law course or specialized training on a short-time basis.
What You Should Know:
- Legal certificate programs vary. One program may offer broad knowledge, while another may teach basic legal knowledge and skills. In comparison, some programs are more specific and tend to focus on a single law or interest area.
- The program is most attractive for professionals working in the legal profession or legal-related industry.
- A possible focus area in a legal certificate program may include cybersecurity, health law and compliance, tax, data privacy, estate planning, and enterprise risk management. You can check the various certificate programs in your LSAC account.
- You can complete a certificate program in three months.
- You need to have a bachelor’s degree or equivalents to enroll in a legal certificate program.
- There are flexible options for you to take the certificate program, including online and part-time options.
- Like the Master’s degree program, earning a Legal Certificate Program will not make you eligible to sit for the Bar or practice as an attorney.
Financing Your Law School
Legal education is a big investment in your future, and much like any investment, it is smart to consider the pros and cons of having to go through the difficulties of seeking legal education. You have to prepare to invest effort, time, and money. After all, it is a serious financial investment. It is difficult to make a realistic or even a conservative assessment of why you want to go to law school in a very uncertain financial time, and how you will pay it is critical.
A large majority of law students, 95% of respondents, rely on academic loans as the primary source to finance school. Despite it being a source of funds, loans must be paid back. Ideally, loans are paid with future income, and naturally, the more money you borrow, the longer your student debt will impact your adult life. New attorneys delay plans to navigate around paying student debts. Some postpone buying a house, a new car, having children, or even getting married. Young lawyers make personal and professional sacrifices due to the sizable student loan debt, says a survey conducted by the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division and the ABA Media Relations and Strategic Communications Division. Survey respondents also indicated that their student loans had affected their mental health issues, having experienced anxiety and depression.
The 1,084 young lawyers who took part in the survey, whose median age was 32, experienced the cost of legal education skyrocket overtime. Among them, the reported median cumulative student debt was $160,000, and 40% of them saying that their debt load had gone higher now compared to when they graduated from law school. In 2016, the average cumulative debt for law school graduates was $145,500. This is $15,000 less than the median cumulative debt in 2020 but significantly increased from $82,400 in 2000. There are many scholarships, grants, and fellowship opportunities for you to apply for, but they are often highly competitive if not very limited. Here are a few resources that may be useful for you:
- ABA-Student Loan Repayment and Forgiveness
- Association of American Law Schools
- Equal Justice Works
- FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
- Federal Student Aid
- Request a free credit report
There are loan repayment options for law graduates interested in public interests or public service careers. The Student Loan Repayment and Forgiveness resource are worth visiting. As times have changed, law school policies continue to evolve and accommodate more prospective law students to pursue a legal education. We must remain optimistic about these changes.
LSAC Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program
In the summer of 2020, during the Coronavirus pandemic’s height, 185 students participated in a virtual LSAC Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program or the PLUS Online. This is a testament to the Law School Admission Council’s commitment to making legal education accessible to every aspiring law student. Through PLUS Online, LSAC was able to host law schools in a robust and accessible virtual experience. In the program, aspiring law students see a sample of how rigorous legal coursework in courses like legal writing, legal topics, and the intricacies of law school admission process and legal careers. It is guaranteed that you will gain invaluable knowledge and skills in the PLUS Program. More importantly, you will become a part of the PLUS network, consisting of other law school applicants and PLUS alumni. The PLUS network participants from the last 18 years now make up the community of LSAC Scholars.
LSAC understands the viability of having a legal education, and the PLUS Program offers aspiring legal professionals the opportunity to explore law school. There is no cost to participating in the program, and every participant is eligible to receive a $1,000 stipend and fee waiver from LSAC. The PLUS Program’s main objective is to increase the number of undergraduate sophomores and juniors from minority groups who are not underrepresented in the legal profession.
What You Need To Excel In Law School
Undoubtedly, Law School will not be easy. But, if you develop important skills, values, knowledge, and experience you need to give you a step ahead, you will enjoy your legal education journey instead of loathing the idea of going to law school. Preferably, you need to acquire these before entering law school, which will give you a strong foundation to hurdle postgraduate education.
As a quick guide, the following are the core skills, knowledge, values, and experience you need to thrive in Law School:
Arguably one of the most important skills you need to possess when entering Law School. To ascertain that you have strong problem-solving skills, you should take courses and other experiences to test your critical thinking on certain issues. You need to challenge your beliefs and improve your level of tolerance towards criticism and opposing positions. Your legal education demands that you structure and evaluate your arguments both for and against propositions. Having strong problem-solving skills will help you to have a reasoned argument for debate.
When you prepare for your years in law school, it should include a significant critical thinking experience through close reading and critical analysis. Prepare by reading complex textual material as reading complex judicial opinions, documents, texts, statutes, and other materials will become your everyday experience once law school begins. It is not an understatement to say that reading these particular materials should not be a first in law school. Read rigorously and engage in the habit of carefully reading and understanding complex texts of substantial length and volume.
Writing and Editing
Having strong writing and editing skills will give you an advantage in law school. You should develop your competence in written communication as language is the most important tool a lawyer has. As a future lawyer, you must learn to express yourself with utmost clarity and conciseness. Writing is a fundamental skill a lawyer needs, and rigorous and analytical writing training will better prepare you for the legal profession.
Oral Communication and Listening
As stated above, a lawyer’s sharpest tool is his or her words. Having the ability to speak clearly and persuasively will secure your success in law school in the practice of law. Listening is as important as speaking, and listening well will allow you to communicate with your clients more effectively.
Research skills are central to your legal education. Pinpointing jurisprudence and specific law relevant to your case or argument will bring clarity to your stance. You need to develop a familiarity with the skills or materials you need to go through as you navigate your legal education.
Law school also enhances other skills such as:
- Organization and Management
- Public Service and Promotion of Justice
- Background Knowledge
- Exposure to the Law and Legal Practice