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 Post subject: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:04 pm 
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I post this anonymously to avoid the backlash that I am sure is coming...but I do have to ask:

Is law school really that hard? I know it is challenging, I am not saying that it isn't, but is it so difficult that it really causes all the stress and social isolation it seems to be associated with?

I never studied in undergrad and I was able to graduate with a 3.9+ GPA. I always heard that college was so much harder than high school...it wasn't. I know law school isn't undergrad and I know that it is certainly not high school, but I doubt it is going to be as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Just saying.


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:06 pm 
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Anonymous User wrote:
I post this anonymously to avoid the backlash that I am sure is coming...but I do have to ask:

Is law school really that hard? I know it is challenging, I am not saying that it isn't, but is it so difficult that it really causes all the stress and social isolation it seems to be associated with?

I never studied in undergrad and I was able to graduate with a 3.9+ GPA. I always heard that college was so much harder than high school...it wasn't. I know law school isn't undergrad and I know that it is certainly not high school, but I doubt it is going to be as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Just saying.

It's curved and your classmates have the same grades as you coming in.


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:06 pm 
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Posts: 804
Anonymous User wrote:
I post this anonymously to avoid the backlash that I am sure is coming...but I do have to ask:

Is law school really that hard? I know it is challenging, I am not saying that it isn't, but is it so difficult that it really causes all the stress and social isolation it seems to be associated with?

I never studied in undergrad and I was able to graduate with a 3.9+ GPA. I always heard that college was so much harder than high school...it wasn't. I know law school isn't undergrad and I know that it is certainly not high school, but I doubt it is going to be as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Just saying.


Where did you go for UG? If you went to a UG with massive grade deflation and a ridiculously hardworking student body it might be similar.


Last edited by savesthedayajb on Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:07 pm 
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Kohinoor wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I post this anonymously to avoid the backlash that I am sure is coming...but I do have to ask:

Is law school really that hard? I know it is challenging, I am not saying that it isn't, but is it so difficult that it really causes all the stress and social isolation it seems to be associated with?

I never studied in undergrad and I was able to graduate with a 3.9+ GPA. I always heard that college was so much harder than high school...it wasn't. I know law school isn't undergrad and I know that it is certainly not high school, but I doubt it is going to be as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Just saying.

It's curved and your classmates have the same grades as you coming in.


I know that. I was just saying I don't think understanding the material and all that is going to be as difficult as everyone makes it out to be.


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:08 pm 
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If there was a "punch in the face" button on my computer, I'd use it right now. Just saying.

Get out of the legal employment forum, it's cluttered with trash threads already. Then once you are out, stop abusing the anonymous feature.


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:09 pm 
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I was used to coasting. Then I came to law school and now I am surrounded by people who are at least as smart as I am--and a lot of them are way better than I am at working hard. This means that I don't get to be at the top of the curve.
The hard part of law school is having to work for it for the first time ever.


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:10 pm 
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Anonymous User wrote:
I was used to coasting. Then I came to law school and now I am surrounded by people who are at least as smart as I am--and a lot of them are way better than I am at working hard. This means that I don't get to be at the top of the curve.
The hard part of law school is having to work for it for the first time ever.


I like that point a lot. That is probably the only thing I am worried about coming into law school.


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:11 pm 
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Understanding the material is not that hard. Understanding it better than most of your section is hard.


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:11 pm 
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ITT: free anonymous punches in the face.


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:12 pm 
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Anonymous User wrote:
I was used to coasting. Then I came to law school and now I am surrounded by people who are at least as smart as I am--and a lot of them are way better than I am at working hard. This means that I don't get to be at the top of the curve.
The hard part of law school is having to work for it for the first time ever.


+1

Good point :)


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm 
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Anonymous User wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I post this anonymously to avoid the backlash that I am sure is coming...but I do have to ask:

Is law school really that hard? I know it is challenging, I am not saying that it isn't, but is it so difficult that it really causes all the stress and social isolation it seems to be associated with?

I never studied in undergrad and I was able to graduate with a 3.9+ GPA. I always heard that college was so much harder than high school...it wasn't. I know law school isn't undergrad and I know that it is certainly not high school, but I doubt it is going to be as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Just saying.

It's curved and your classmates have the same grades as you coming in.


I know that. I was just saying I don't think understanding the material and all that is going to be as difficult as everyone makes it out to be.



It's not. There is just a lot more of it. It's basically a competition to see who can memorize the most stuff by game day and articulate it the best. I had undergrad classes that were harder to comprehend, yes. In lawl school, you'll always FEEL like you're getting it, but this will not correlate to grades.


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:41 pm 
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anyone else think that high school was harder that undergrad?? my high school was 8 periods a day, everyday, and i played a sport which made my days 8am-5pm...it was a full time job.....then i went to college and i had so much more free time and didnt work nearly as hard.

It's not. There is just a lot more of it. It's basically a competition to see who can memorize the most stuff by game day and articulate it the best. I had undergrad classes that were harder to comprehend, yes. In lawl school, you'll always FEEL like you're getting it, but this will not correlate to grades.


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:08 am 
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Anonymous User wrote:
anyone else think that high school was harder that undergrad?? my high school was 8 periods a day, everyday, and i played a sport which made my days 8am-5pm...it was a full time job.....then i went to college and i had so much more free time and didnt work nearly as hard.

It's not. There is just a lot more of it. It's basically a competition to see who can memorize the most stuff by game day and articulate it the best. I had undergrad classes that were harder to comprehend, yes. In lawl school, you'll always FEEL like you're getting it, but this will not correlate to grades.


Psh, in highschool we started our work out at 6am, and had practice till 6pm, then I had to walk home both ways uphill in the snow.


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:40 am 
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edgarderby wrote:

It's not. There is just a lot more of it. It's basically a competition to see who can memorize the most stuff by game day and articulate it the best. I had undergrad classes that were harder to comprehend, yes. In lawl school, you'll always FEEL like you're getting it, but this will not correlate to grades.


Disagree. Many classes allow you to bring in outlines. Some even allow commercial outlines. Those relying on statutes or codes allow you to bring those into the test. It is not a competition to memorize stuff.
You are right that it is about articulation, but the difference between law school and undergrad is taking a massive amount of material and applying it to something you have never seen before. No law school exam is going to ask you what happened in so and so case or what so and so law is, which is what an undergrad exam is like.


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:41 am 
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And I have only had a couple classes where the material was all that difficult to understand. I haven't heard many people make this point. The difficult part is competing with people who all killed it in undergrad and have motivation to work as hard as they possibly can because their livelihood depends on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:43 am 
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Reasons why law school isn't that hard:
*The material is actually fairly straightforward in almost every case
*You have very few due dates other than 'scary final exam'
*There are LOTS of resources (hornbooks, etc.) to help you learn

Reasons why law school will chew you up and spit you out:
*Everything is curved, so you have to beat people rather than just learn stuff
*You are never effectively taught HOW to learn the material. You have to do it yourself. Classes are NOT regurgitation of the law.
*Much more detrimentally, you are never taught HOW to apply the material. You aren't ever given a sense for how to take much less perform well on exams.
*Speaking of which, you don't know where you stand UNTIL those final exams at the end of fall semester. So you have to fight back feelings of uncertainty and accumulating loans in the middle of a crushing recession.
*Because, lest you forget, you need to not only do it right - which means crushing your brilliant and motivated peers - but you have to do it right the very first time you try or you'll see doors to certain jobs and career paths slam in your face.
*Just another point on law school exams: the skill it takes to do well is quite obscure. It's not uncommon for brilliant, motivated, successful students to have absolutely no idea why they got the grades they did - whether they are good, bad, or in-between. Law school is about indirectly teaching you to 'think like a lawyer', motivating you to A) figure out what that is and B) accomplish it on your own, then testing your ability to do so under extreme pressure and while requiring fluency in a massive area of doctrine to be able to show your stuff. It isn't like anything you've ever done in college or high school or the working world, so it's very hard to prepare for or understand until you have done it (until it has happened to you?) once.

You could teach Torts to highschool seniors or college freshmen and they'd get it, no problemo. Duty, breach, causation, harm. Easy money. You could even do it by showing them cases and having them try to string the doctrine together.

But it's those tests at the end of the day, which are so unique, have such unique grading criteria, and which yield grades that are so fetishized by the legal world that make the prospect daunting.

Good luck, 0Ls!


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:22 am 
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I had never really thought about why law school was hard. I thought it would be more of the same, but I guess it won't be. I know how to compete against a test, but not other students, and definitely not ones who really care. :shock: Dangit. I thought I was gonna coast through T4 and then get $160,000 a year for 20 hours a week of work. I might have to reevaluate my options. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:27 am 
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disco_barred wrote:
Reasons why law school isn't that hard:
*The material is actually fairly straightforward in almost every case
*You have very few due dates other than 'scary final exam'
*There are LOTS of resources (hornbooks, etc.) to help you learn

Reasons why law school will chew you up and spit you out:
*Everything is curved, so you have to beat people rather than just learn stuff
*You are never effectively taught HOW to learn the material. You have to do it yourself. Classes are NOT regurgitation of the law.
*Much more detrimentally, you are never taught HOW to apply the material. You aren't ever given a sense for how to take much less perform well on exams.
*Speaking of which, you don't know where you stand UNTIL those final exams at the end of fall semester. So you have to fight back feelings of uncertainty and accumulating loans in the middle of a crushing recession.
*Because, lest you forget, you need to not only do it right - which means crushing your brilliant and motivated peers - but you have to do it right the very first time you try or you'll see doors to certain jobs and career paths slam in your face.
*Just another point on law school exams: the skill it takes to do well is quite obscure. It's not uncommon for brilliant, motivated, successful students to have absolutely no idea why they got the grades they did - whether they are good, bad, or in-between. Law school is about indirectly teaching you to 'think like a lawyer', motivating you to A) figure out what that is and B) accomplish it on your own, then testing your ability to do so under extreme pressure and while requiring fluency in a massive area of doctrine to be able to show your stuff. It isn't like anything you've ever done in college or high school or the working world, so it's very hard to prepare for or understand until you have done it (until it has happened to you?) once.

You could teach Torts to highschool seniors or college freshmen and they'd get it, no problemo. Duty, breach, causation, harm. Easy money. You could even do it by showing them cases and having them try to string the doctrine together.

But it's those tests at the end of the day, which are so unique, have such unique grading criteria, and which yield grades that are so fetishized by the legal world that make the prospect daunting.

Good luck, 0Ls!


Well put.


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:18 pm 
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Definitely the hardest thing I have ever done.

I have the same GPA as you in a notably hard major from UG. Also did a science PhD. And worked at both McKinsey and a biotech company. To put it in perspective.

What makes it hard is the quantity. I, for one, have a lot of trouble getting through everything because there is a lot and it is for the most part very boring, and law school exams are notably challenging. Worked my rear off to get around median.


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:24 pm 
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Did top 10% my first semester to give some perspective:
What makes it hard:
New type of material/Different way of learning/Steep learning curve(especially first semester)
No guidance on how you are doing-all finals
To repeat what others have said-you can know it cold, but if your classmates know it colder, than youre fucked
A lot of it is boring old shit from England filled with words that we dont use anymore
You need to teach yourself what to do
Trust no one
Knowing that there are no second chances
The year where its hardest to adjust is the also the only year that happens to count
The competition
The strain of the economy hanging over your head

What makes it easy:
Study Guides
Few class hours
Ability to get old outlines


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:44 pm 
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Anonymous User wrote:
I post this anonymously to avoid the backlash that I am sure is coming...but I do have to ask:

Is law school really that hard? I know it is challenging, I am not saying that it isn't, but is it so difficult that it really causes all the stress and social isolation it seems to be associated with?

I never studied in undergrad and I was able to graduate with a 3.9+ GPA. I always heard that college was so much harder than high school...it wasn't. I know law school isn't undergrad and I know that it is certainly not high school, but I doubt it is going to be as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Just saying.

I am guessing that undergrad was easy for you because (1) you were smarter than most people there, and (2) you cared a lot more about grades than most people there. That's how it was for me. I still didn't do any work except around midterms and finals, but I was able to get significantly higher grades than any of my friends.

In law school (unless you go to a school ranked substantially lower than what you are qualified for), your classmates will be just as smart as you, and they will care just as much about grades as you do. Everyone who gets into a good law school is used to getting great grades - they aren't suddenly going to be content with median grades. Given the curve, and given that most of your classmates will study a ton, learn the law extremely well, and take practice exams, you simply cannot coast your way through.

I did well last semester without putting in an insane amount of work, but I did, for the first time since high school, work constantly from the beginning of the semester to the end. Learning the law takes a lot of time, and learning how to take a good exam takes a lot of practice.


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:00 am 
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I have a 4.0 and didn't really study so my answer is no. But it seems to be hard for other people. My general sense is this. Whether you were good at college has little to nothing to do with whether you'll find law school hard. I mean, so you're great at German, so you're great at writing papers on Jane Austen, so you take pride in your homework - so you actually do your homework - that doesn't reflect too heavily on your ability to do legal reasoning. Maybe if you're a philosophy major, or a math major, there's some kind of correlation. But most disciplines, not so much. On the other hand, whether you did well on the LSAT does have a lot to do with whether you'll find law school hard. If you read those inane passages on the LSAT and you come to the questions and think, "gee, I'm not sure whether they're saying this or that at line 26, I have to take some test prep class to learn how to know," reading an opinion isn't likely to go much better for you. If the games just completely befuddled you, then you may be similarly befuddled when it comes to deciding whether some conveyance falls afoul of the rule against perpetuities. They're similar sorts of things. Like anything else, law school is easy if you have the talent required to do really well and hard if you don't. There is no one universal answer to your question. I mean, you might be a great bio major and think Bio's really easy, for example, but I, being a lazy bum, lacked the work ethic to do a single 6th grade science lab well. So, you know, see how you do on your LSAT, read some cases sometime, see if reading that sort of thing comes naturally to you or if you find it tiresome and impossible to grasp.


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:10 am 
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traydeuce wrote:
If the games just completely befuddled you, then you may be similarly befuddled when it comes to deciding whether some conveyance falls afoul of the rule against perpetuities.


I wonder if this is why the rule against perpetuities is so hard for me to understand! :cry:


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:26 am 
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The material itself is not outrageously hard. It will appear to be at times, but when you dig deeper what you're essentially learning is a bunch of rules and exceptions to those rules.

What makes it hard to me is the how relentless the work is. You're doing reading after reading of soul-crushingly boring stuff, and it never seems to stop. Every time you finish something there's something new on your plate. It's pretty life-consuming, and it's also (for the most part) extraordinarily dull to boot. Then throw in all the stuff that disco_barred mentioned.

And I, too, don't understand the rule against perpetuities. Then again, we just started on it this morning, so maybe I get a pass.


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 Post subject: Re: Is law school really that hard?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:40 am 
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My best friend is a lawyer who attended a T14 program. Her friends went to T14 and T1 schools. The consensus they've relayed to me is that law school isn't that hard. Rather, its difficulty is a myth perpetuated by attorneys and law students to make law school completion seem like more of an accomplishment. Law students (most of which were top of their classes without necessarily having to work hard, and most of which never had full time jobs) convince each other that they're working hard and that school is difficult, probably because it is harder than undergrad.

From what I've heard, it's like having a really tough job where you have to work 50-60 hours a week.

Of course, you will all disagree with me. The only evidence I can provide is anecdotal from a handful (6) of accomplished attorneys- some currently working in big law. I am a 0L, so I look forward to the scathing remarks.


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