Preparing Yourself For Law School

Law school preparation differs from other academic pursuits. There is no list of prerequisites that must be completed in undergraduate school. In fact, admission to law school can be based upon any major. Law schools look at grades, not courses. So if any major from English to Engineering will work, what should be done to prepare for law school and the quest for a juris doctor degree?

There is one area of study that is not required, but is helpful. That area revolves around corporate law. It is helpful to have some understanding of basic accounting principles. An introductory course in accounting in undergraduate school provides that understanding. Other than that course, it is helpful to understand the skills that are necessary for law school.

The most important skill is the ability to read long and complex writings and court opinions and understand their meaning. Take courses that have long reading lists. Make sure the readings are difficult to understand. Assignments in law school typically involve many pages of court opinions and treatises that are challenging, to say the least. The ability to cover the material, and understand what is written is critical to success in law school.

Besides reading, the ability to write is a must. Law school exams are basically long essay questions. They require detailed knowledge of the law, and the ability to convey that knowledge in an organized, coherent fashion. Memorizing facts and the law is not enough. Develop the ability to write. Take courses that require that ability.

Law school is an endurance test. The first year is a time to separate the serious students from the ones who think law school will be fun and easy. Learn how to manage time and be organized. There will be no extra time that first year. The reading will appear to be overwhelming, and there will never be enough time to prepare. Professors expect students to come to class prepared, and they call on students regularly to test that preparation. The key to survival is time management and organization. Learn those skills before law school. They will serve a student well.

While preparing for law school, consider taking up a basic speech course. The ability to speak in a coherent manner is important. In general, prepare for a long, hard test of perseverance. Earning the degree formerly known as a bachelor of laws is no easy task.