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Debunking Law School Myths

There are many wild misconceptions about law school floating around out there. Here are some commonly believed myths that need some debunking.

1. A law-related undergrad degree gives you an advantage.

Law students come from all different backgrounds, biology, engineering, nursing, psychology, history, computer science – the list is endless. I knew a dance major that excelled in law school. The point is, you don’t need a pre-law or legal studies undergraduate degree to get into law school or to be successful in law school. The ability to think critically, manage your time, and communicate well will be more useful to you in law school than any specific undergraduate degree. Everyone starts 1L on the same page – feeling lost and knowing nothing. But that’s exactly why you’re there, to spend three years learning the law.

2. Your LSAT score dictates your level of success in law school.

Sure, the LSAT is designed to test critical reading and analytical thinking skills – important skills you’ll need to succeed in law school. But it also rewards those who have the money, time, resources and support system required to learn the unique games and questions. While I don’t have statistics to share with you, I know tons of law students who didn’t have the highest LSAT scores but excelled in law school and went on to very successful careers in law. The opposite is true as well, a high score on the LSAT doesn’t insulate you from performing poorly in law school. 

3.  Law students have no life.

It’s not all work, no play. Yes, you’ll need to devote a significant amount of time to law school, but you’ll still have time to have fun. You’ll have the least amount of free time in 1L, but in 2L and 3L, your schedule opens up more and you’ll know how to effectively manage your time. Law school also unofficially teaches you how to squeeze a maximum amount of fun in a minimum amount of time.

4. Law school is cutthroat.

I’m not going to lie, law school in Canada is competitive and certain schools have more competitive environments than others. At the same time, law school is very collaborative and you’ll meet many more people that want you to succeed than fail. Law students share outlines, hold study groups, proofread for each other, and support each other through the stress. Many of your peers will become lifelong friends.

5. You learn everything you need to know to be a lawyer.

When you first start working as a lawyer, it’ll probably feel a bit similar to starting law school. Law school teaches you a ton but nowhere near everything you need to know. You’ll learn a lot more when you study for the Bar exam, and even more over time with real-life experience. 

Law school also teaches you the law, not how to be a lawyer. There are no classes on networking, getting clients, hiring, managing finances, or running your own law practice. 

If you have any questions about what law school or being a lawyer, reach out to a law student or lawyer and ask. More often than not, they’ll be happy to help. Whatever you do, don’t watch Legally Blonde or Suits and expect to have an accurate idea.

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