Monday, February 22, 2010

A current law student's advice for the Pre-Ls in 2010: in a word, RUN

This post originally appeared at Dennis and is re-posted with permission.

It’s that time of year again. Law school acceptance letters have gone out and the future victims students are trolling the student blogs.

My advice? Run.

If you’re not going to run, then consider these 5 tips:

  1. Do not go to law school just because your humanities major did not give you any marketable job skills. That’s like signing up for the military because you won’t condescend to work retail as a B.A. The legal job market collapsed last year. If you were looking for riches and employment, then try Starbucks or business school…or the military. At least they’ll pay for school if you survive.
  2. When considering schools outside of the top 10 (or maybe top 20) focus on the schools in the state/market you want to practice in. Your New Mexico JD isn’t as powerful in Maine, even if the New Mexico school is ranked slightly higher than Maine’s Bumble School of Law.
  3. If you are choosing between a well-ranked school and a scholarship at a less prestigious school, ask whether the scholarship is contingent on your GPA or class rank. Most students at these schools will lose their scholarships because of the curve. And yes, your competition is as smart and motivated to keep their scholarship as you are.
  4. Much of the prep during the summer before law school is a waste of time. Your time is best spent working, because your scholarship or loan money may not come in until classes start. Working out also won’t hurt, because law school is the land of coffee and pizza.
  5. If you really want to know what law school is like then read law student blogs. An outline of my 1L fall semester is here, and an outline of 1L spring is here. There more blogs are linked on the left-hand column of

Again, I recommended that you run, so don’t batter me with nasty messages this fall about how I ruined your life because this blog convinced you that law school is all sunshine and lollipops. It is not. Run.


JD Underdog said...

I agree with "run"!

Zenovia said...

I agree that the current state of legal education and the legal market is unstable. However, I advise students interested in attending law school to run - although only with an intended course and goal in mind. The concern with most law students is that they have no idea about the power and versatility of a law degree nor how to use it to accomplish their specific career goals. The book "J.D. Lifeline" has a pre-law student guide that provides effective strategies for exploring, pursuing, and exploiting a law degree. In no means am I saying that law school is the best career choice in the world. I am merely saying that a strategic, well-rounded approach to law school ensures greater success and lots of fun along the way. (

-K- said...

I recently wrote this article based on my own experiences... I can't say I would tell people to run, but I would tell them to spend a LOT more time considering their options than I did.

Leave it up or delete it, doesn't matter to me - just thought it might be relevant here :)

Tessa said...

I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place to post this, because I would be a law student in 2011, but do you have any recommendations or suggestions about LSAT prep courses? I'm about to sign up for powerscore online and from the research I've done it seems like a good choice, but I just wanted to check if anyone had any tips of this stuff...

Tessa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ronald John Neal said...

Good points, in other words, taking law school is a serious business and full of holes to trap those who aren't serious taking legal education.

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S Murugappan said...

Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write ups thanks once again.

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