Are you thinking of going to law school? Really? Here are the things you should know before doing so.
1. Health Truly Is Wealth
You have to be prepared mentally and physically (to be honest law school would also test you spiritually). If I could give one piece of advice to a law student, this is what I would tell him or her. Do not take your health for granted.
If you are thinking of going to a law school, I’m pretty sure you have already done your research on Google about the ‘law school life’. Among all those blogs about law school, they have one issue in common—that law school can either make or break you.
Keep in mind that you will be studying for another four years.
Remember to take care of yourself during this time because the real battle is not actually during your law school journey. The real battle starts when you take the bar exam then from there it becomes a continuous battle when you practice your profession. Now, if you’re not taking care of yourself within these four years, consequences will follow you after you graduate from law school.
Accept the fact that you will be experiencing sleepless nights in the course of your journey which could affect your mind and body especially if you are not used to staying up late at night.
Your mental state would likewise be challenged with all the stress which is the second thing you have to consider.
2. The Stress Is Very Real
How do you handle stress?
You need to know how you personally deal with stressful situations. This is because stress in law school is very real. I cannot emphasize this enough. You will be stressed by all the reading assignments or the embarrassing situations when you were called to recite a case but wasn’t able to. You will be stressed with the people you deal with—sometimes even with your boyfriend or girlfriend who does not understand what you are going through. Every single issue in your life seriously just adds up and gets tangled with each other—even the smallest of problems that you thought are not significant will annoy you.
If you are not able to deal with stress properly, there will be some serious repercussions to your health.
What do you do when you’re stressed? How do you cope with stress? You have to know yourself well.
3. Learning How To Sacrifice
Sacrificing in law school is not unusual. Everyone does it.
You will have to sacrifice some things in order to get stuff done in law school. Good time management is a tough hurdle for law students. There’s just so much things to be done!
There are a lot of distractions that could make you lose your focus although for me it’s a case-to-case basis. Some have problems regarding social media, some are distracted with their relationships, some can’t keep focus because of their friends outside law school. On the other hand, some can deal with social media addiction and other problems just fine.
You have to remember that you do not really need to cut off social media, your relationship, or your friends to be able to manage your time well. You just have to learn how to limit yourself with everything.
Learn how to stay away from social media from time to time. Social media is an obvious distraction for students. If you rarely use social media, then you are lucky to cut that problem from this list.
Discipline yourself. If a reading assignment needs to be done, then do it instead of scrolling your timeline or newsfeed.
You do not need to break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend either just to be able to manage your time well. BUT if it were to me, I would rather you consider doing that if he or she is being too handful and refuses to try and understand the situation you’re in.
Yes, breakups due to law school are also real.
I have a friend who ended her relationship because the guy made her choose between him and law school. Insert eye roll, ha! This is a topic better to be discussed more but think about this…
You are in law school. Some days, you waste time trying to analyze the same topic of the same page of your book before classes. You experience anxiety every single day. You get stressed because you were called but couldn’t recite. You go home broken and then you have this boyfriend or girlfriend who nags you because you were not able to return his or her call. You end up fighting because apparently, you prioritize law school more than him or her.
You better end that relationship, dear!
When it comes to friends, in my opinion, they tend to be more understanding.
If you used to be a party person when you were in college, that is not going to work in law school. You would sometimes have to sacrifice night-outs with friends. Cancelling some plans with friends over law school does not necessarily mean cutting your friends off of your life. You can still meet them some other time. But for now, keep your aim locked.
4. Yup, That’s Expensive
You will also need to consider your financial standing before entering law school. Four years of studying law mean four years of automatic expenses burning through your pocket.
If you have a scholarship to support you through law school then good for you! You wouldn’t have to worry about how to pay the fees. Although, in addition to tuition fees, you would have to spend money on law books. And I’m telling you right now, law books are not cheap. They’re expensive! And because law books are expensive, some students prefer borrowing from libraries which could be an option for you, too. However, some professors require their students to buy their own books for a specific subject or course. You just have to keep that in mind.
Some students work their way through law school. I have classmates who work full-time or part-time. This is not easy. Salute to all working students!
Working while studying could be an option for everyone but, of course, there are consequences. As a working student, you would have to double your efforts and sacrifice more time than a full-time law student.
5. Where do you see yourself in the future?
Lastly, one of the things you should consider is the future. Do you see yourself as a successful lawyer in the future?
How serious are you? Do you really want to traverse this path to becoming a lawyer? Being a law student requires effort, time, and money. If you are not driven enough to provide these things then it would be hard for you to achieve your goal.
You should know that you will constantly ask yourself these, “Do I really want to do this? Can I make it through? Should I quit?”.
Now, if you enter law school not determined and desperate enough, you will never make it. I know this because I’m still stuck in that same routine of asking and doubting myself.
These are things I personally think one should consider before entering law school. If you decide to go to law school, I’m wishing you all the best!