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Scourage

Thoughts on Law School Overall?

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2L here. Law school is great. It's challenging but rewarding, and it's nice to be "in it together" with a bunch of other people who share the same or similar interests as you. Would like to echo @Psychometronic regarding the "culture" at UBC law. Such a heavy focus on big law/corporate that it often feels like its the be-all end-all. Mind you, I'm interested in corporate law, so I suppose this benefits me (but who knows). However I see a lot of students who really don't have an interest in the practice areas of big firms still applying and not really being true to themselves. Given how competitive it is to land a big law position, I've also noticed a vibe with some students holding their cards close to their chest when it comes to study groups etc., perhaps out of fear of giving others some sort of advantage over them. I often wonder how that strategy has worked out for them, since sharing notes and helping others has never negatively impacted my own grades. 

Not sure what other law schools are like, but at least in my year I've noticed there seems to also be a culture of "shutting down" opinions that don't conform with very specific values. Regardless of whether I agree with these other opinions, I think this is a bit of a downside to my school because there is a lot of value in hearing and considering conflicting view points, and knowing how to respectfully respond. 

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20 hours ago, Viszlaw said:

Good luck pursuing your goals! Law school was a blast for me. It was challenging, but rewarding and a fun social setting. I'm still super close with about 5-6 people in my original group from day 1. We refer potential clients to each other and collaborate when issues fall outside our own practice area. We always joked about opening up a legal emporium one day since we all practice in different areas. Law school can definitely be stressful if you've never had exams worth 50% or 80% of your grade in any given course.

The one thing I would change about law school is that studying law is nothing like the practice of law. I am very much in favour of making law school have more experiential learning. There are definitely courses out there like working in a legal aid clinic, or intensives that pair you with practitioners, but I found the majority of class was just teaching you basic principles rather than how to practically apply them, litigate, be persuasive, write effectively, deal with difficult clients (or principals), etc. There is always a steep learning curve from law school to practice, which the schools could do a better job of flattening, but that's just my ten cents on what could be improved. That all comes with the caveat that it would probably only help if you know what area(s) of law you want to practice. Some skills/areas of law overlap, but many do not. 

Thanks so much! Currently in my undergrad, I'm so eager to get over with the LSAT and be at law school already. I can just imagine the tremendous work in being taught the basic principles, rather then practically applying them. Which hopefully I get the experience in working hands on with the practice rather then being in the classroom majority of the time.

Also could I ask what law school you did you go to?

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1 hour ago, Scourage said:

Thanks so much! Currently in my undergrad, I'm so eager to get over with the LSAT and be at law school already. I can just imagine the tremendous work in being taught the basic principles, rather then practically applying them. Which hopefully I get the experience in working hands on with the practice rather then being in the classroom majority of the time.

Also could I ask what law school you did you go to?

I will also add that my favourite classes were the ones taught by practitioners, who had more hands-on experience. I went to Windsor and loved it.

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I'm echoing @easttowest in saying that law school was one of the best periods of my life. It was hard and stressful at times, and I definitely struggled with imposter syndrome a lot, but honestly so much fun. 

I personally had a different experience at UBC and found the environment really collegial and I genuinely liked 99% of the people I went to school with, but I do think it depends a lot on your small group etc. I do think it's easy to get caught up in the OCI hype but I also had a lot of friends who didn't participate in them because they had other interests, so it's possible to avoid getting sucked into Big Law if you're certain it's not for you. 

I'm articling now and genuinely enjoying it as well. 

Edited by Starling
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I'm in my third year of practice. I do not regret going to law school at all. It has allowed me to have a job that I enjoy, that lets me think critically, analyze information, write persuasively and make decisions. I get to work with people I like and respect, and I get paid quite well to do it. Every job has its annoyances, but that's not unique to law. 

Edited by beyondsection17
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1 hour ago, bonkers said:

It became a lot shittier when it became zoom school.

I can't imagine how that must be especially in law school, that's exactly what I'm trying to avoid after undergrad and I thought it was bad now.

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I was working in the public sector before going to law school. I had a decent job and probably would have been promoted since then, but I have no regrets. Having worked for a few years, going back to school was a lot of fun. And the jobs I have had since law school pay better and are more interesting than anything in my career path before going back to school. 

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It's a necessary struggle. However, it can be quite enjoyable in some respects, depending your legal interests.

Edited by Mihael
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I had absolute disdain for law school and hated every moment of it. However, since being done I've quite enjoyed it and enjoyed my summer work so that kept me motivated. 

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Good and bad. I had a really shit time with my school admin for personal reasons, but my school is known for generally having poor student-admin relations. Some profs I had were great, some were not so versed in teaching especially when they offload teaching to a partner at some local law firm. Lot of the student body and many professors are fantastic people, and you meet lots of people who can be inspirational, like the ones who overcame adversity or ones championing great causes or have unique perspectives on issues. 

With that said, I think law school teaching methods is generally outdated, the field and many people thinks of themselves too highly,  too much emphasis on a flawed hierarchical system, and lot of high-rank people have remarkably poor social skills. I've seen practicing lawyers go from conversation tone to screaming in the same sentence, or part-time teaching staff openly insulting student's appearances.  Its awkward to view adults behave this way, anywhere else they get shit-canned or disciplined or excluded. Its no surprise lawyers generally have among the poorest emotional intelligence for a business centered around relationships. This is not the universal rule, social culture varies widely but generally this pattern seems common. 

Think there is a fundamental organizing problem, first is that there is a problem with teaching people how to deal with stress which there is no shortage of, and second is that schools and many legal departments and firms encourage competition between colleagues. This kind of social environment only really fosters distrust, paranoia and social distance, while the stress creates negative coping responses. E.g. lot of the egotism in this field is a stress cope response driven by people feeling socially vulnerable or threatened by their atmosphere. 

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2 minutes ago, theycancallyouhoju said:

It was one year of moderate work, two years of relaxing a bunch, and it laid the foundation for a life I really enjoy and feel lucky to have. 

Same. And even the one year of "moderate work" was way less work than any full time job. It was just a lot compared to undergrad and the two subsequent years.

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Law School: 1/10 would not recommend :P

 

1L was likely the worst year of my life: you have no idea what you're in for or what the profs are looking for, and trying or doing my best usually was not good enough.

However, 2L and 3L were amazing and I had a lot of fun, despite not meeting a lot of people or being in any sort of crowd. The stress of "what if I fail" was gone, my grades improved, and I began to understand just what it was I was doing, even if only slightly. Despite my crippling debt, I don't think I would want to go back to what I was doing prior to law.

Edit to say: despite 1L, law school in its entirety was really worth the slog. Even the 1L experience which was miserable for me was good to get through, so that I know that, when I'm faced with the darkest of times, I can pull through and keep on going. Honestly, I'm glad I did it and would do it again, even if I decided not to actually practice law.

Edited by goalie
didn't finish my thought
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If 1L of law school is the worst year of your life then you're doing pretty good.

Edited by bonkers
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