So you've been addicted to Suits, Law & Order or even The Good Wife since you can remember. You can already see yourself wearing a sharp suit and striding through the marble-clad reception of some glittering tower on the way to your office in the clouds. Maybe in London, New York, Hong Kong, Paris or Beijing.
The law is your calling and you're ready to get out there and kill it. You know what universities you need to apply for and what exams you need to take.
That's fine, we all need our dreams. However, you also need to approach the study of law with a clear, rational head. That's why this week we're including information that undergraduate students wish they had known before beginning their course.
Firstly, there's a lot of reading. But you already know that, right? There's a lot of reading involved with many courses. However, you should know that spending all day and all night in libraries is not uncommon - especially when exams or deadlines are looming. It is no coincidence that many university libraries don't close.
You also need to get organized and work smart as there are no prizes for just the number of hours you spend in a library or the number of books you carry around. Workloads are significantly easier if you are organized, focused and efficient. Plan ahead, prioritize, and don't be afraid to spend about 15 minutes a day making lists and just thinking about what you need to do.
When you read, do so with a goal in mind: learning a specific law or revising for a specific exam. You are never going to read every law book in the library - why would you want to?
While we're on the subject of books, be careful what you buy because essential textbooks can easily cost thousands of dollars. Many bookshops do offer a partial refund on returned books, and you can pick up some copies secondhand, so keep an eye out. Try and get a reading list early, and make sure you get current editions where necessary.
Law school is also incredibly intense, with some schools marking on a curve and all students competing for the best grades. There is a reason why entry requirements are so high.
Some would argue that this helps you to cope with the backstabbing that goes on in top firms, but what is important is that you don't get dispirited.
You are used to being a top performer, that's what's brought you to law school, and now you're struggling just to stay afloat. Just remember that this feeling is normal and something that you will adjust to given time and perseverance.
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