Things to improve in yourself before starting law school

Two years of studying law has made me wise (no kidding). Here I am to share the top five things that people who are thinking of attending law school need to improve before attending the prestigious halls to becoming future law practitioners.


Law school is no walk in the park. We only wish it was. There is a ton of hard work and dedication put into the years of studying law and reviewing for the bar. Sweat, blood and tears (mostly tears) are very much included.


When I first started law school, I was working a job in an event planning company. My job included e-mailing vendors and clients, creating and designing presentations, websites, and invitations and updating event calendars for my boss.


I started work at 7AM and logged out at 4PM so I had an hour and a half before my classes started at 5:30. Classes were usually until 8:30 and I’d get home around 9PM, eat dinner, clean up, read and study for a few hours, then head to bed by midnight.


I did this in the beginning but the workload of law school eventually got too much and sure, I felt bad about leaving a good job and a source of income, but focusing on law school survival was important to me.


Truth is, the job was easy but it was soul sucking because my boss was a soul sucking person. *insert nervous laugh* If you put a toxic job over the hectic schedule and demands of law school, it made me lose motivation to focus on my studies. 


All I could think of was how much life sucked because I had a pile of readings to finish but I only had lunch breaks and a few hours at night to finish all of them. On top of that, I was still recovering from a break up. Where was my sanity going?



I eventually quit my job and became a full-time law student. It’s easier said than done. I no longer had a source of income and I had to depend on my savings and my parents to support me in my studies. But I had more time to study and I’d often spend the entire day in the library just studying and making notes. I’m so glad I quit my job and I’m blessed with great support because I’m about to start my third year of law school very soon and I passed all my subjects. I’m right where I am meant to be right now.


I’m not telling you that you have to quit your job in order to succeed in law school but rather, prepare yourself for what is to come. Like I said, law school is no walk in the park.


Forming a good study habit

In law school, books and the internet are your best friend. It’s all about seeking the information. You have to read a lot. I mean, a lot! You have to read, understand and retain the law.


With the amount of law that you have to learn, you need to dedicate hours of your day to study sessions and form a study habit that is beneficial and works for you.


Ways to form a study habit:

  • Create a study schedule. Give an amount of time (maybe an hour) for each chapter of a book.
  • Stick to that schedule. Don’t just remind yourself to study. Actually sit down and read the book.
  • Make reading a daily thing. You can’t study properly if you hate reading. Majority of the time in law school, reading is all you will be doing so in order to form a good study habit, become a bookworm and immerse yourself in books and knowledge.

Work on your handwriting

Oh, boy. Your handwriting is very important in law school because during law exams, you will be writing countless essays. If your professor cannot read your answer, most likely he’ll give a low score because despite your proper application of the law in your answer, he already has difficulty just staring at your handwriting, let alone being able to read it.


Even if it is the best formulated answer out there, no one will give a crap about it or even take the time to read it if you write it with crappy handwriting.


In my first semester of law school, three professors pointed out my horrible handwriting which led to some insecurity but this is the great thing: you can change the way you write.


All it takes is practice. When you are writing anything e.g. in your planner, taking notes, creating outlines, be conscious on how you write and form your letters. Aim to make your handwriting clear and legible. Find strokes that are comfortable with the way you usually write. Overtime, your handwriting will definitely improve.


Time management

Important in any person’s life but especially in law school where you will have countless papers, readings, reviews, classes and on top of that you may even be holding down a job and other personal matters.


Knowing how to manage your time even before law school starts is a great way to evade disaster. Give time not just for law school and other people but also yourself.


The best way to do these:

  • Get yourself a planner. And yes, use it. Don’t waste your money by letting it sit pretty on your desk all year.
  • List everything. Lists will be your best friend, from to-do’s to grocery lists and assignments you need to finish.
  • Get rid of clutter. In your physical space and online, get rid of old useless files, papers and trash. If you’re unsure of deleting things on your computer (aren’t we all?), place them in an online drive like Google Drive or Dropbox.

Discipline

Is this the most important of all? Hhmmm…maybe.


When you encourage discipline in yourself, you can really get things done. Whether it is forming a good study habit, improving your handwriting or managing your time better. See what I did there?


The things we do and do not do all stem from the discipline we have.


So before entering law school, be disciplined enough to choose a law book over your phone, to finish that essay over watching a movie and to prepare for exams over going out.


Prepare your Physical and Mental Health

So, this is the most important of all.


This is the reality of it.

In law school, you can get humiliated during class recitations.

You can feel all alone and left out when no invites you to a study group.

You can think you are the dumbest one in the class.

You will carry on responsibilities more than you can handle.

You will feel it getting too much sometimes, lose sleep, get depressed, get sick and ask yourself, what have I gotten myself into?


Law school is not easy for anyone. Don’t let this scare you.


There will be pitfalls and struggles along the journey and being mentally and physically prepared for all of that is what will make you succeed and rise above the rest.






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