What is Law School Really Like?
What is law school really like? What is the admissions process really like? Well, we got the LowDown (or the LawDown rather…) with Law School LowDown author Ian Scott.
While making the decision to go to law school may be easy, the process of getting into law school and getting through law school is not so easy. In fact, the law school admissions process is daunting and in many ways mysterious. In his new book, Law School Lowdown, author Ian E. Scott, a graduate of Harvard Law School, demystifies the process by providing a detailed guide on applying to law school based on his experience. This handbook of best practices is not only essential for students who are applying to law school, it is also a must-have for students who are already in law school as it gives useful insight into getting through law school classes, transferring to another law school, navigating the job hunting process, and preparing for the bar exam.
In the introduction, Scott makes it clear that the stakes involved in pursuing a career in the legal world are high. In addition to the commitment of 3 years of intense study, many law students exit law school with over $100,000 in student loans. Furthermore, the job market is extremely competitive with few high-paying jobs compared to the number of students graduating each year. Thus, Scott warns that it is incumbent upon the student to “perform some research about the job market so they are comfortable with their decision to become lawyers.” Though it does not focus only on the job market, Law School Lowdown is a rich source of research that will help a prospective law school applicant make an informed decision as to whether or not law school is the right choice. And for the student who already is in law school, Scott provides information that helps make the experience as successful as possible.
After the introduction, Scott provides a detailed primer on the application process. He explains the role of the Law School Admissions Council, the importance of the LSAT, and what a law school application involves. However, he does not stop there. Scott provides critical insight into the do’s and don’t’s of applying to law school based on his personal experience. For example, applicants must provide letters of recommendation. At first glance this may seem pretty easy– letters from 1-2 professors, a letter from an employer, and a couple of letters from family friends. However, just because a letter of recommendation is positive and well-written does not necessarily mean that it will have a positive impact on members of an admissions committee. Scott warns that a letter from a family friend who barely knows the applicant will not help, while a letter from a professor who knows the applicant’s scholarly abilities will help. To demonstrate exactly what a good letter of recommendation involves, Scott provides samples of actual letters of recommendation that were written for him in support of his law school applications. Law School Lowdown is full of similar types of advice and real-life examples that students can apply to their own law school experiences.
The remainder of the book focuses on getting through 3 years of law school, job-hunting, transferring to another law school, and preparing for the bar exam. In discussing the challenges of successfully completing 3 years of law school, Scott focuses on planning, time management, and strategies for keeping up with classwork and performing well on exams. Scott’s descriptions of each of the typical first-year classes and explanation of the Socratic method provides first-year students a glimpse of what to expect. For second and third year students, in addition to describing classes, Scott discusses the practical aspects of taking clinical courses and publishing a research paper. Similar to his discussion of applying to law school, Scott draws on his significant personal experiences to allow the reader to proceed with a better understanding of what to expect and what is required for success.
Overall Law School Lowdown should be required reading for all embarking on a legal career. At a minimum it lets the reader know what to expect from almost each step of the road to becoming a practicing attorney. But it does much more than that. It is a blueprint that provides the answer to the question: What do I need to do to succeed in law school?
Students you can pick up Law School Lowdown in the Study Materials section of FindMyLawTutor.com! Good Luck!
This article was written by FindMyLawTutor.com.
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