Any Law School Students?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by macswitcha2, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. macswitcha2 macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2008
    I'm interested in going to Law School...gearing up for my LSAT.

    1) What do you recommend in terms of some prerequisites for Law School, what must I know, who should I read, etc, etc?

    2) What do you recommend for preparation for the LSAT?
  2. macswitcha2 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2008
    Oh..maybe Law School is not the thing given that we don't have a lot of Law Students....or, they're too busy studying. :)
  3. lrjr macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2003
    As a Scottish law student I dont know how useful my comments will be but I did study at UNC for part of my degree so hopefully what what I have to say will have some value.

    1)The biggest thing I can say about law school is prepare for a big change, law is very different from any subject you may have studied before. It requires a very different approach so be prepared to alter your approach when, and if, you go. Also since it is such a big change people tend to do very poorly in the first year, although in the US they tend to favour a bell curve so this may not be so much of an issue for you, but the important thing to remember is that everyone is in the same boat as you so dont be disheartened!

    About the only thing I recomend reading before going to law school is a book on how to study the law or an introductory law book, there should be lots of choice in the US so look at reviews and pick one you like the look of.

    2) As for the LSAT I have no idea having never sat one or anything simillar so hopefully someone else will be able to help you out with that!
  4. Kenzembo1 macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2008
    Youngstown, OH
    I'm in the same boat - looking into getting a JD in business/law. Right now, I'm using the Kaplan Premier study guide to study and prepare for the LSAT in June. I would be open to any advice or guidance any of the forum members here have to offer - whether it's tips on how to study for the LSAT or simply advice for first year students. I'd also be very interested to hear from any practicing lawyers/attorneys out there.
  5. jlblodgett macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    I was in law school - 15 years ago!

    There are quite a few LSAT prep programs out there. I would encourage you to take them, they are helpful and can prepare you for the LSAT, which is a truly unique type of test.
  6. niuniu macrumors 68020


    Mar 29, 2009
    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    I studied law.. in London, so LSATs are a foreign element to me. Hang in there, we have law students and practising attorneys on site. Just keep it bumped occasionally with some petty responses and you'll catch one :D
  7. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    I have two friends in law school: Learn how to drink.
  8. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2006
    Better yet, some of the attorneys I knew bartended a few hours a week; good tips and even cheaper drinks.

    As for the LSAT, I've heard good things about PowerScore products if you're looking into studying on your own (I guess they have classes now too, but I can't attest to those). I haven't used them myself, but friends have spoken highly of them.

    Make sure becoming an attorney is something you really want to do first. I would try to get some experience at a law firm as a clerk or whatever and talk to the attorneys there, make sure they enjoy it and that you can see yourself doing what they're doing. I was going to become an attorney, but seeing the pressure to bill and the number of billable hours for a year, even a small midsize firm, turned me off quite a bit. You essentially bill your life in six minute increments for somewhere around 2000+ hours a year. The fact that quite a few of the attorneys I worked with were telling me not to become an attorney also kind of turned me off a bit.
  9. Kenzembo1 macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2008
    Youngstown, OH
    This is where I'm at now. Law school is not a walk in the park and it's something that I really need to want to do if I am to succeed. My uncle is an attorney that specializes in estate law. Both of his children (my cousins) are seeking law degrees, so surely he must find his occupation to be at least somewhat fulfilling if it rubbed off on them. What I need to do is talk to more practicing attorneys outside of the family and possibly look into clerking at a local firm over the summer.
  10. drewster macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2008
    1) law students are mostly socially misfitting -- booze makes them able to interact.
    2) you'll work hard, party hard.

    For the LSAT, forget the hype. Just tighten the screws and do it, and you'll probably do fine.

    Law 2
  11. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    I didn't like it.

    On the undergrad level I liked studying a lot of labor law and employment law for my B.A. It was more of a historical and political science approach and pretty straightfoward.

    Like said before, law (the LL.B or J.D.) is totally unlike anything you ever studied. I found almost no connection to my previous B.A. studies which took an intellectual, scholarly approach to issues. Law school has its own unique way to attack a legal issue.

    Law school is not hard in the sense of crunching numbers or studying a science, but you will have to approach things in a legal way, which isn't simply a moral way or a logical way. Try and see at least two sides to any argument. When doing a timed legal test, 1 hour typically, you have to take what could be easily be three hours of regular college writing and whittle it down to a legal format to get it done in time. This is extremely hard to do.

    If you can, look at landmark first year law cases such as Palsgraf vs. Long Island Railroad, or In Re Winship, and likely more than half of your first year will be looking at the concept of negligence. Entire books have been written on these cases or subjects, but what is hard is to sit in a three hour final exam with three questions on something like torts, (covering negligence), and pump out three complete, concise answers.
  12. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    I found that they were not as socially misfitted as the engineering students I was in class with. :) But I have never met a group of students who drink harder, but also derail their law school career with alcohol.

    Where you may read more as an English major, or work with numbers more as a business major (not to mention any of the sciences), I still cannot think of something more frustrating that the hair splitting editing it takes for any law student to have to shave down a paper to its essential elements without being too wordy. Wordiness is great for bloggers and judicial opinions and dissents, but never for law students.

    Next to wordiness, asking too many questions in class is very frowned upon in law school. People like that are termed gunners and almost without exception, they get the worst grades in law school. Among the talkers who get bad grades in law school are those who are great speakers. You are graded on short, written exams, not if you can appear like William Shatner from Boston Legal.

    The best law students I have seen over the past several years didn't have English as their first language, so in a way, learn to be right to the point and give both sides to an argument equal time.


    LSAT? Definitely tighten the screws, get a good enough score, and then forget it because it won't have a lick to do with law school.

    Some of the better students tanked on the LSAT and some high scoring LSAT people didn't do well on law exams.

    This may seem unfair and brutal, but it's the first of many brutal lessons you will find in your first year. And unlike college and graduate school, you are not in law school to make friends. In a small area like mine, law students later meet up against each other on cases when they become lawyers at times, and at other times work together.
  13. macswitcha2 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2008
    Thanks everyone! I took my LSAT a week ago and about to start the application process, personal statement, etc. I'm ready for Law school and open to learning what I don't know.

    I would appreciate more tips. Thanks!
  14. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    I graduated law school back in May, and I'm still unemployed. And the short-term future looks very dire.

    I hope for your sake that the legal profession recovers within 2 years, because right now it's one of the most unwise investments you could possibly make.

    Unless you're one of those weird passionate people, then nothing's gonna stop you.
  15. 63dot, Dec 18, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010

    63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006

    Congrats on that, macswitcha2. Step one out of the way, and good for you. Rest a little and learn how to enjoy it, because celebrating and maximizing your in between times will come in handy later. (And also congrats to raven, too.)

    The best thing now that you have done this is know that law school has very little to do with the LSAT, so you will learn how to switch gears. Be flexible and keep and open mind.

    My friends clerking now have told me law school has very little to do with the practice of law, so there's another switch in gears.

    And then when somebody lands in the area of law they wanted to get into, they usually find there's another area of law that does it for them like community property or tax law. That's another place you may find you need to switch gears.

    Anyway, don't hold onto any concept or goal too tightly as this process will ride you instead of you steering it. I am yet to meet somebody who has started with a well defined goal and stayed the same. As long as you know this ahead of time, it should take some stress off of law school.

    Though I am back in high tech, law school gave me a new way to approach technical information, and while it didn't help with math, science, or logic, many things which I took for granted as a techie I now know may have consequences. :)
  16. macswitcha2 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2008
    I read some information about personal statements. I think I have an idea but any tips?
  17. PurpleMarmalade macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2010
    I'm a Law Professor. As there is a (very slim) chance I will end up teaching you, I'll plead the...[snip].
  18. macswitcha2 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2008
    What are you insinuating?
  19. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2006
    This is part of why I decided to stick with accounting. The ROI on a JD just isn't there. I'd literally be spending $355,000 ($180k in tuition and $175k in given up income) to get a degree where job prospects are immeasurably slim and where the salary I'll likely receive after three years of law school is only marginally higher than the salary I'll have after spending those three years in public accounting. Not to mention, I'll likely be doing pretty similar stuff with my master's in tax as I would if I earned a JD. Plus, the pressure at a midsize accounting firm is a good deal lower and the quality of life is significantly higher.

    I guess others are in different situations, I basically have an undergrad degree that comes with a job title and the graduate degree I'm working on has become the standard of managers and partners in the tax accounting field. I suppose if I had degrees in a field without jobs, I might bet on a law degree in hopes that the market will turn around a bit in 3 years.
  20. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    He is pleading the 5th Amendment.... he may be a future professor.

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