Law School Success
Law school is one of the most difficult challenges a person can take on, but it is also one of the most rewarding. Law schools are designed to train students how to think and act like lawyers. The law school curriculum demands countless hours of tedious reading, writing, and law review. It takes a strong will and desire to push through the three-year course of study without giving up or giving in. However, certain strategies can be used to not only survive but to thrive in the law school environment. Here are some tips to help students flourish in law school.
Tip #1: Class Preparation
Law schools require huge amounts of daily reading. Contrary to the popular belief of law students, the reading is not meant to torture students, it is actually designed to increase students' knowledge of the law and teach them to analyze various fact patterns by quickly spotting the issues and rules. Therefore, actually doing the reading for each class and properly briefing each case is crucial to having a successful law school experience. In fact, one great way for students to stay "ahead of the game" is to read ahead. Thoroughly preparing for class is an enormous stress reliever. Few things are more stressful than going to class unprepared and hoping the professor does not call on you.
Tip #2: Time Management
Effectively managing time is key to owning law school. Oftentimes, students get bogged down on one particular subject and inadvertently neglect other subjects. Many students engage in extracurricular activities while procrastinating on their reading or other class assignments until they either have no time to complete the required work, or they have so little time, they halfheartedly throw something together at the last minute. Do not be that person! Successful law students should seek to create schedules for themselves and strictly adhere to them in order to eliminate any surprises and keep their focus on the task at hand.
Tip #3: Schedule “Me Time”
Coursework in law school can take an emotional and physical toll on students. Over time, this crushing workload can have a negative impact on the body, spirit, and mind of even the most resilient law students. To keep stress levels at a minimum, astute students should include some “me time” into their schedules. This can include a variety of activities, such as spending time with friends and family, meditating, attending yoga classes, watching a movie, or simply taking a walk in the park. Students should remember to continue doing the things they loved to do before law school. A few hours a week of fun activities will help students stay fresh and rejuvenated so they do not get burned-out.
Tip #4: Sleep
Believe it or not, one of the simplest yet overlooked keys to success in law school is sleep. Many students neglect sleep and stay up all night cramming information in their heads or preparing for a test. This is actually counterproductive. It leads to mental fatigue and exhaustion the next day, which will inevitably cause students to underperform well-below their capabilities if they were fully rested. So remember to catch some z's!
Thriving Outside the Classroom
Most law school students know their educational journeys do not end inside the classroom. For Kinnan Ghali, his coursework was both demanding and rewarding, but it was his activities outside of class that gave him the most satisfaction.
Kinnan served as a law clerk at the Rockdale County Public Defender’s Office in Conyers, Georgia, which gave him much-needed practical exposure to the types of tasks and roles he would face in a career as an attorney. Throughout his clerkship, he applied many of the same tips that helped him thrive in law school, including time management and preparing for the rigors of zealous client representation. By using the tips illustrated above, people in any educational pursuit or career path can create a foundation of success, allowing them to attain great achievements in their schools or professions.