3 Biggest Myths About Starting Law School (and Why They're Wrong)


If you're getting ready for law school check this out: we put together a free e-book called the “Ultimate Pre-Law Checklist.” Just click the link below to download it. It's some of our best tips and strategies for getting ahead before you start law school, and it will put you miles ahead of your classmates, just click here.

Most people look at law school as some inscrutable ivory tower. As a result, there are a huge number of myths about what happens when you start law school. So today let's talk about some of the three biggest myths about starting law school and why they're wrong. So let's dive into the biggest myths about starting law school.

The first myth is, "Everybody knows what they want to do "when they graduate." In reality, very few people go to law school knowing exactly what they want to do when they graduate from law school. You may have a general idea that you want to go into public interest law, or you want to become a civil litigator, or you want to go into criminal defense. But very few people know exactly the sub field, exactly the firm that they want to go to. In fact, most people will change their conception of what they want to do when they graduate. So don't be afraid to go to law school not knowing exactly which firm and which section of law you want to practice when you graduate. In reality, very few people know exactly what they want to do and those things change over time.

Now on the other hand, you should have a general idea and you should be damn sure that you definitely want to be a lawyer or you want to go into some field that requires a law degree before you go to law school. It's a huge waste to go to law school not knowing for sure that you in fact want to do something that requires a law degree. Law school these days cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It can cost over $200,000 when you factor in living expenses. So that is a huge penalty to pay if you aren't 100% sure that you want to be a lawyer or you need a law degree for the field that you want to go into. So while you don't need to know exactly what you want to do, it's a good idea to know that you do absolutely need a law degree. Law school is not the time to figure out what you want to do with your life. So that takes me to myth number two. And that is, "Everyone is super competitive."

Now certainly there are going to be a lot of competitive people. But not everyone is a cutthroat gunner. Just like in undergrad, there is a huge spectrum of people who on one side are incredibly competitive, and on the other side are complete slackers. And while there certainly aren't as many slackers in law school as there are in undergrad, they certainly get into law school.

A corollary to the myth that everyone is super competitive is the myth that everyone is incredibly mean. On the contrary, I find that law students in general are a very kind bunch. And some of my best friends are the people that I met in law school.

So don't think that you're going to go into law school and everyone is going to have their nose buried in a book all day long focused on nothing but acing their exams. Certainly by the time that finals come around everyone is probably going to cocoon themselves, but for the most part law students are people just like everybody else. And not everyone is going to be a super A plus type personality that doesn't care anything about anyone else. Then number three is that, "Everyone has legal experience "before they go to law school." Or in other words, "Everybody knows this stuff but me." Not true. In fact, very few people have legal experience before they go to law school. There are a handful of people who work as paralegals, or legal secretaries, but here's the secret. Even if you had those jobs before you went to law school, that does not prepare you for the law school experience. And it doesn't make you a very good law student.

On the contrary, the kind of day-to-day things that paralegals do and legal secretaries do, the only thing I think it would be helpful for is civil procedure. Other than that, they probably have no further insights into the substantive law that's gonna be tested as a 1L than anybody else. So, in fact, very few people have legal experience. And even the people that do have legal experience, it's not the kind of experience that's going to help the as a law student. So don't worry about gunners. Gunners are very vocal. They seem like they know what they're talking about, but for the most part they're actually less likely to do well than everybody else.

So if you did not have legal experience before going to law school, don't worry about it. It's not going to help the people that do have it. And it's not a hindrance to you not having it.

If you're getting ready for law school check this out: we put together a free e-book called the “Ultimate Pre-Law Checklist.” Just click the link below to download it. It's some of our best tips and strategies for getting ahead before you start law school, and it will put you miles ahead of your classmates, just click here.

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