Law School: As Bad as You’ve Heard
Written by Bwog Staff
For those of you struggling with big life-changing career decisions, Bwog’s enlightened Dane Cook gives you the scoop on law school.
A panel of Columbia University Law students convened last night to remind everyone pursuing a legal degree that—yes, the rumors are true—law school is hard. The event entitled “A Day in the Life of A Law Student,” jointly hosted by The Columbia Pre-Law Society and The Black Students Organization, provided undergrads first-hand accounts of the long, lonely hours, the stressful classroom settings, and the general drudgery of daily life from the perspective of current law students. Here are a few of the main topics last nights panel discussed:
The Transition from Undergraduate to Law School: If you think your undergraduate career involves too much studying, you haven’t seen anything yet. Each member of panel attested to the fact that law school involves longer hours, more thorough reading requirements, and deeper critical thinking skills than any academic setting they had thus far encountered. To one panel member ‘humbling’ seemed the most apt description. The course work is structured differently than at the undergraduate level—with less feedback throughout the semester and an all-important final, which counts for one hundred percent of your grade. They also noted the more intensive classroom setting. The threat of being called upon cold in class demands active engagement, as opposed to the more passive approach popular among undergrads.
The Daily Grind: Class. Read. Sleep. Class. Read. Sleep. According to the panel, at the beginning of the semester, students have more free time to explore extracurriculars, but when finals come around, as one first-year law student warned, “You enter ultra-school mode. You don’t have time to do anything else.”
Photo via Google Images
The Admissions Process: Although each panel member offered specific advice, the general consensus was to start early. If you plan on taking time between undergraduate and law school, get your recommendations while still at Columbia. Moreover, take the LSAT during your time as an undergrad; studying is easier while you’re still in school. One panel member, who graduated from Columbia College last year, advised everyone to take advantage of the services Columbia offers: get in touch with Cynthia Cogdill, Columbia’s pre-law advisor.
Although law school may be difficult, the panel made a valiant attempt to avoid discouraging law-school hopefuls. Amid the disconcerting laughter, coded remarks, and sidelong glances between panel members, they reassured—each in their own way—“Don’t worry. It’s not that bad.”