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HDharvey

Law school experiences?

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Posted (edited)

 

Was listening to this podcast of this guys experience in law school.... would you guys say your experiences were similar? Just trying to get a feel for whether Law School is a good fit for me and what the realities of it actually are.

 

Edited by HDharvey

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I'm definitely not going to watch an almost two hour long video and I suspect that few people are willing to do so just to answer your question.

If you could more specifically summarize the key points where you are curious if other people's experiences aligned, you might be more likely to get some responses.

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I got 6 minutes in to try and get just the vaguest sense, and it seems... relatively fine/normal, as in, this isn't an interview with a crazy person.

However, this is one guy's experience at UBC. People with different school/work backgrounds experience law school differently, and also there are differences at different schools. For instance, the small group structure he's talking about doesn't exist at some schools, and may exist but be different than others.

So, to echo @CleanHands, I think you'd be better off summarizing specific points that struck you or concerned you, and seeing whether it matches the experience of others. Asking law students/lawyers to review a two-hour interview with another law student, even if it's a perfectly good interview, is just not going to be of massive interest to most of us. ;)

-GM

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Posted (edited)

Yeah I am not watching that whole thing.

I did skip in to see what the student's experience was. I really did not watch much. I would agree with the above comments though. 

I would make a couple comments on the parts I did watch. First, on the difficulty of law school in comparison to undergraduate programs I would tend to agree. I took many "difficult classes" during my undergraduate degree and did quite well in all of them with the study habits I developed, as long as I put in a moderate amount of time. Law school did not follow this general pattern. Largely this is due to the fact that law school requires a different skill set than undergrad but additionally the makeup of the student population is much different.

In undergrad you will likely be in a class composed of a small number of high achieving students and a certain proportion of students who only care about graduating. In law school everyone in your class will be high achieving and some of your peers will likely be brilliant. This fact leads many people to feel inadequate because they are used to getting straight A's and the grading policies of law schools don't allow everyone to get A's based on raw scores. This leads to my next comment about required amounts of study time.

I found that, for me, the time frames this student discussed is somewhat accurate, especially at exam time. I know that many of my peers who are top performers (dean's listers and medalist contenders) tend to study for 10 - 12 hours a day during the exam period. During the normal semester, I do not think it is always necessary to study as much but YMMV. I have some friends who don't read anything and they do well, I know others who try the same thing and fall short and regret it. The time you will need to put in to do well will depend on your learning style, the content of the course, and what your professor expects. I don't think you can generalize based on this student or any other student's experience.

Ultimately, the law school experience will depend on you and what you make of it. You will likely build bonds with your peers because no one understands or relates to law school the way other law students can. My experience has largely been positive, people have varied backgrounds and are friendly. I have been exposed to volunteering experiences I never would have had if I had not became a law student. Moreover, if you are a nerd like me, you will find the material compelling. Will the grading scheme hurt at first? Probably. Will the recruitment process and over emphasis on grades frustrate you? Probably. But like many people on this forum will remind you, your grades do not determine your worth or career, and as I tell myself every time I get a B, average in law school is above average in the general population.

No one can tell you if law school is a good fit for you and you can't determine whether it will be based on some other person's experience. But if you think law school is going to be easy and you wont have to work harder than undergrad you are very likely wrong. 

- A struggling 2L

Edited by KJR
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Posted (edited)

I strongly disagree that you need to study for 8-12 hours a day 6-7 days a week during the semester and 12 hours a day during exams. The guy on the left (I recognize him -  he goes to my school) implies you need to spend this much time studying in order to perform average - above average but that is simply not true. 
 

Edit: I didn’t watch all of it, but his take is pretty simplistic. The law school experience is much more varied.

Edited by Psychometronic

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20 minutes ago, Psychometronic said:

I strongly disagree that you need to study for 8-12 hours a day 6-7 days a week during the semester and 12 hours a day during exams.

As someone who didn't study nearly this hard in 1L and then studied this hard during 2L first semester, I do believe working this hard is in fact required to guarantee doing well in law school. It's all the curve, you just have to outwork everyone. Get a month ahead in readings and then just map out the courses for the month before exams, that's a surefire way to ace school. It sucks but just find a good group of psycho friends to do it with. 

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Posted (edited)

The amount of law school studying I do follows crests and throughs. Outside of exam season, law school is not very stressful - I am not reading 8-12 hours a day. However, during exam season, I definitely work harder than I had in undergrad. I won't quantify how much I study during exams, but it is definitely stressful and requires a lot of effort. Final essays are also another big source of stress and late nights. 

2 hours ago, KJR said:

Moreover, if you are a nerd like me, you will find the material compelling.

IMO, while law school can be very intellectually engaging, it can also be really boring. This is generalizing, but I think learning the law (i.e. a lot of law school) is not as "fun" as actually applying, analyzing, and debating the law. But that's my take. 

Edited by Twenty

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Every time I read threads like this, I think that UVic must - for some reason - be easier than other schools in terms of workload. They don't assign us nearly enough reading to be studying 8 hours every day, let alone 12. Or are people going through readings over and over and over again as they make their notes? I'm a fairly slow reader, and make written summaries of every case we read, and I doubt if I've ever spent more than 30 hours studying in a week (not counting lecture times, mind you).

Maybe I'm missing something. I guess I'll find out when we get our marks next week. ;)

-GM

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On 1/9/2021 at 3:32 AM, GrumpyMountie said:

Every time I read threads like this, I think that UVic must - for some reason - be easier than other schools in terms of workload. They don't assign us nearly enough reading to be studying 8 hours every day, let alone 12. Or are people going through readings over and over and over again as they make their notes? I'm a fairly slow reader, and make written summaries of every case we read, and I doubt if I've ever spent more than 30 hours studying in a week (not counting lecture times, mind you).

Maybe I'm missing something. I guess I'll find out when we get our marks next week. ;)

-GM

I’m not in law school yet, but I’ve noticed my friends who are seem to absolutely lie/exaggerate how much time they spend studying for some bizarre reason. They tell me they spend 8 hours a day studying and then every single time they’re messaging me or I visit them they’re watching Netflix or doing some other leisure activity.

Perhaps some people include the breaks, often overly long breaks they take during studying as a part of the total “study time”, whereas I’d only count the actual time spent reading or summarizing 

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26 minutes ago, splittinrocks said:

I’m not in law school yet, but I’ve noticed my friends who are seem to absolutely lie/exaggerate how much time they spend studying for some bizarre reason. They tell me they spend 8 hours a day studying and then every single time they’re messaging me or I visit them they’re watching Netflix or doing some other leisure activity.

Perhaps some people include the breaks, often overly long breaks they take during studying as a part of the total “study time”, whereas I’d only count the actual time spent reading or summarizing 

 

At this point in my life I'm pretty sure everything anyone has ever said is a lie.

Edited by legallybrunette3
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3 hours ago, legallybrunette3 said:

 

At this point in my life I'm pretty sure everything anyone has ever said is a lie.

We are probably living in a simulation anyway... I dont think I pulled anywhere near 8 hour study days except for the month leading up to the bar exams.

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