law school right for me? Most
of you have asked yourself this question already . . . and most of you
still don't know the answer. Don't worry about it! No one expects you
to be absolutely certain about your career plans yet. In fact, we're
more concerned if you are 100% certain about law school -- if
you're completely certain you want to go, you might want to do some
more research about what you're getting into!
The truth, of course,
is that law school is like most other intense experiences -- it has
both incredible benefits and undeniable drawbacks. The trick is to figure
out whether the "pros" outweigh the "cons," given
your own personal interests, strengths, weaknesses, ambitions, idiosyncrasies,
No matter how certain (or uncertain) your law school plans may be, our
first two pieces of advice to you are the same:
Your Pre-Law Tutor. Talk to your pre-law tutor about why you're
considering law school -- and what you're considering doing instead
of law school. The Dunster House pre-law tutors are not recruiters
for law schools! Our job is not to push people into applying. If you've
got questions or ideas about law school, no matter how critical, talk
to your pre-law tutor. That's why we're here! (Don't have a pre-law
tutor assigned to you yet? Then you must not have registered for the
Dunster Pre-Law Program! Register here
and a pre-law tutor will be assigned to you. Registration does not
mean that you are obligated to apply to law school! It just means
that you're considering applying, whether now or some time in the
future, and would like to take advantage of the House pre-law advising
Yourself and Think for a Moment. Whether or not you raise the
issue with your pre-law tutor, you should definitely stop now, before
you become too invested in the application process, and be honest
with yourself about your law school ambitions (or lack thereof). Law
school is a vocational school. It teaches you to be a lawyer.
If you don't want to make your living as a lawyer, or if your first
choice would be to do something else, think hard about whether law
school is the right plan for you. Many students apply to law school
because they don't have a better plan. That's not a good plan! It
probably won't come as a surprise to you to learn that students
who were never really interested in law school tend not to enjoy law
school. It's too intense (and expensive) an project to undertake
half-heartedly. Try telling yourself that you're going to spend three
years studying things like contracts, torts, evidence and administrative
law. Not sure you like the idea? Don't worry -- your pre-law tutor
can help you figure out how to proceed. The good news is that the
actual practice of law, as any lawyer will tell you, is only marginally
related to what you do at law school -- it's quite possible to hate
law school and love being a lawyer. But at the end of the day, you're
still a lawyer. If that doesn't sound like the right plan for
you, think hard about whether law school is the right choice at this
point in your life (you can always apply later!).
Highly Unscientific Data.
Many students have trouble deciding whether law school is right for
them because they simply have no data on which to base their decision.
What do you actually study in law school? What is an average day like?
What kind of work do you actually do?
Here are some random
and unscientific data points that might help:
Class Schedules. To help you imagine what a week in your life
might be like during your first year of law school, we asked some
of your Dunster pre-law tutors to let us post their 1L class schedules
(including class name, meeting times, etc). Check it out and ask yourself
if this looks like something you'd be interested in doing.
Cases. Here you'll find a few of the cases that you may study
during your 1L year, taken straight from Westlaw in PDF format. Take
a look and see how the idea of studying these and lots more similar
cases strikes you.