If you've managed to find your way onto this complete overview into the life of a law student then chances are you're interested in becoming a lawyer. So at some point, you will ask yourself, "How hard is Law school?" We've all heard from one person or another that becoming a lawyer is both hard and very rewarding but both of these statements can seem a little misguided.
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While i don't want to push any of you away when you're just starting out but going to university and studying law isn't anywhere near something easy to do. You can't treat it as a halfway point and take it easy, especially when starting out. You don't get that much time to cover each topic per semester. The biggest thing is to not let yourself begin to slip during the semester, making sure you stay on top of all your readings, assignments, projects and speeches will be your biggest asset.
To put it into perspective on what you're getting yourself into, Law is on the higher side of grades you'll need to have to get into. In reference to those studying in Australia, for most universities, you'll need to achieve an ATAR of 80 or higher to be allowed to apply for Law school. Less than 1/3 of people are able to achieve these results from high school and of those less than half pass the BAR exam.
So, no. For the most part, it won't consume the rest of your life for the next 25 years while you become a master in the field of fighting cases and talking to judges. Unlike such degrees as physics, chemistry, or mathematics, studying law still offers some wiggle room for those of us not gifted with an Einstein-sized brain. Once again, excluding the outliers such as Cambridge or Harvard law school, you don't need to be one of the best in the world to be able to study Law.
The biggest recommendation you can be given here is finding the right fit for those looking. If you're the sort of person that has always pushed yourself to be better and achieve more while taking on extra workloads at school and work then law school won't be hard for you. In fact, it would place you in the perfect environment that allows you to grow and achieve as it coincides with your sort of work ethic.
We all know that those who are lazy, forgetful, or put in the minimum effort won't even get to apply for law school but for a second let's talk about the average achievers. Those who do decently well and are able to apply at the university of their choice for the course they want. You need to remember this, studying law isn't like accounting with black and white answers. Just because you have an answer doesn't mean it will be good enough. You're going up against every other lawyer that is studying with you and it quickly becomes a competition to who is the best.
Most people are told you are expected to do 10 hours a week for each class that you do (Usually 4 per semester). This for the most part is true if you also increase that number for exams. With many readings and in-depth assignments needed to be completed in a short amount of time, it's crucial to stay on top of your required work. It really does become a full-time job that needs to be taken seriously if you want to keep up let alone stay competitive.
For many people, public speaking is something they dread, and being a lawyer really turns this dial up to 10. Not only are you required to constantly speak in front of a multitude of people in a variety of professions you need to debate a topic and show an in-depth understanding of it. For this reason, many people studying law change their degree to become legal aid, still with all the understandings of a lawyer but without the requirements of standing in front of a judge in a courtroom. This is why many universities offer mock trials in their degree to provide you with real-life experiences you can expect in such a career path.
I know i know. The phrase is a jack of all trades master of none but it seems fitting. While not only is a good lawyer expected to have an in-depth understanding of their area of study but they are also expected to have a variety of other skills. Such as the ability to speak with many different clients, emotional resilience and on-point time management skills just to name a few.
As you're going along throughout the semester it's important to know that almost everything you learn is in some way important. This is because everything in law can interact with each other. Take the ten million dollar comma as an example, it shows how important even the smallest detail is. The point here is to make sure you pay attention to each class and each week look back to ensure you are all caught up.
We have actually already done the hard work for you here in finding the best law school in Australia. Where it covers everything from scholarships, and enrollment to their rankings compared to the rest of the world. The good news is that Australian universities offer some of the best schools in which for you to learn your craft. The catch here is, as the numbers show, many people feel that being a lawyer is something they want to do and make it their first choice, in turn driving up the minimum requirements for getting into the course. There isn't really any way of getting around this besides doing your best in getting better grades and making sure you apply as soon as the applications come out.
Many people that have become lawyers will admit that it really is a lifestyle change. Where you can be working any time of the day, on random days of the week even any day of the year. As new information becomes available you really want to act on it sooner rather than later. This is very true in the much higher legal jobs and becomes laxer the smaller you go. However, if you reach that point you are already fully invested in the legal lifestyle and know that's what is expected of you.
Usually, at any university around the world, a legal degree will take around 3 years to complete. The catch here is most reputable universities will also require a certain amount of time spent working at a legal firm to show you're capable of doing the actual job. This usually starts around the start of the 2nd year and sadly for most people will be unpaid work. The biggest recommendation here is that you spend as much time learning on someone else's clock and making the mistakes now, this will greatly assist the study to work-life transition.
We have tried to cover some of the more important details when talking about how hard is law school but we sometimes miss a few things. If you have any questions feel free to ask below and we'd love to answer them!