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10 Things You May Want to Know about Law School

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  1. Ninety percent of your class will not be in the top 10%. It's an elementary fact, yet it's surprising how little this sinks in. If you realize it up front, then when you don't make that top 10%, you can relax a bit faster than everyone else who wants to freak out.

  2. Law school is neither as glamorous as Legally Blonde would have it nor as horrible as The Paper Chase would have it.

  3. Find a good place off campus to study. In particular, the fastest way to stress out is to study in the law school or the law library during finals time. Stress is on a positive feedback loop — the more stress around, the more it creates.

  4. Law school has a lot of drama — much like high school. Try to avoid it. Remember: high expectations, stress, and competitiveness can lead to brutal infighting. Gossip, backbiting — they can be rampant. Try to stay out of the sewers!

  5. Some classes can be skipped safely. They just can, if you aren't learning anything from actually sitting in the class. That can help out in terms of stress.

  6. Focusing exclusively on grades is counterproductive. Fretting over them during holidays just ruins the holidays. And if you get bad grades your first semester, it's not the end of the world. You can bring them up second semester.

  7. Don't be scared of the tough professors! My favorite first-year classes had horror stories after the first week — but they ended up great.

  8. Don't worry about others. You can't control what they do, so don't let them control you! There will be the obnoxious types who rub in their grades or what have you. Just don't let them get to you.

  9. Usually professors are willing to help you out if you really are struggling with a concept. They have office hours — use them! Just don't abuse them.

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