We’ve all heard the stories (or seen the movies) about law school. We’re aware of the stress, the sleepless nights, and the time commitment. And while this sounds treacherous, many of us still want to attend law school because we know it’s worth it. However, there’s always a way to simplify something that’s difficult. So, if you’re considering attending law school, check out these five ways to prepare to make your law school experience easier and find out if law school is for you.
1. LSAT Prep
Study for the LSAT! The LSAT is one of the most important factors in determining your acceptance into law school. A good LSAT score can get you into some of the top law schools in the country. It’s recommended to start studying for the LSAT at least three months before your test date; however, six months is preferred and is the best option if you want to score well. The best way to prep for the LSAT is to take plenty of practice tests and buy books that will give you strategies to help with each section of the test. Sometimes this option can be expensive, but there are also less expensive options (like Khan Academy who has created a free LSAT prep course for students).
2. Join Mock Trial
Join the Mock Trial team at your school! If your school doesn’t have a team, consider joining debate club, the Model UN – or join them all! Joining any of these groups will help build the public speaking and critical thinking skills you’ll need when you go to law school and beyond. However, Mock Trial should be your first choice because it provides to most realistic trial and courtroom experience. Mock Trial is a lot of fun (of course, I sound a little bias because I’m on the Mock Trial team at Carthage). And who wouldn’t want to travel and compete against colleges and universities across the country? Even more, who wouldn’t want the opportunity to go to ORCS or nationals like this year’s team?
My role on the team as an attorney and witness has taught me how to think on my feet and think critically, which are skills I’ll bring with me to law school. In addition, I ‘ve been able to network will criminal justice professionals across the U.S. through traveling and competing. Even if you’re not thinking of going to law school, still consider joining Mock Trial. If you’re interested in joining the Mock Trial team at Carthage or would like more information, contact Professor Phegley.
3. Pre-Law Fraternities
Joining a Pre-Law Fraternity at your school will give you ample amount of networking opportunities, LSAT prep, and preparation for law school in general.
Look for opportunities to work with criminal justice professionals. If you have an idea of what type of law you would like to get into, contact your local D.A. office or courthouse to see if they offer any shadowing, volunteer or internship opportunities. Simply by sending an email or making a phone call to introduce yourself and state your career plans can get your foot in the door and one step closer to an opportunity in your field of interest.
5. Build your reading stamina
Law school requires a lot of reading. A lot. So start taking those reading assignments in your classes seriously! This will allow you to read for longer periods of time without losing focus. I can’t lie – I almost always skim instead of reading so I can finish my assignments in less time. However, in law school, it’s important to actually read what you’re working on. Which means if you want to be a lawyer, you need to start practicing this skill right now. The more you read now, the easier reading assignments will be once you get to law school.