Anyone who has considered going to law school has almost certainly heard any number of awful things about the law school experience. I’ve got news for you: most of what you’ve heard is false. Need further proof? Check out the list of law school myths below:
Law School Myth I: You will have angry, pedantic professors who cleave to the Socratic method
I suspect this myth is born mostly of ages-old horror stories and people who have seen The Paper Chase one too many times. People imagine an old, white professor leering at a room full of law students, continuously peppering them with questions until he finds one they can’t answer. While you may run into a professor who believes strongly in the Socratic method, your law professors want to help you understand law. They don’t want it to appear mysterious and difficult. They want you to grasp it and use it. Most law professors are quite friendly and all too happy to answer a question or six in office hours after class. Just make sure you do the assigned reading.
Law School Myth II: Other students will try to sabotage you
Law school can be a competitive environment. This is especially true when you are graded on a forced curve. While it would be theoretically possible for all members of an undergraduate class to get “A” grades, that is not the case in law school. There are only so many “A” grades to go around. That said, I have never seen anything even approaching academic sabotage. Quite the contrary, most students are all too happy to help you study. Study groups are common as is cooperation in the library. Don’t be afraid to ask your fellow students for assistance and don’t be afraid to offer it yourself.
Law School Myth III: You won’t be able to do anything but study
While this may very well be the case during finals, it need not be the case all the time. Carefully planning one’s schedule and leaving time for recreational activities is not only achievable, but important. Spending all of one’s time face-in-book is just as bad as skipping the assigned reading entirely. Make sure you leave time for the things you enjoyed in college: going to the gym, going out drinking with friends, going to the beach, etc. You’ll be happier for it. And yes, there is time for it.