As a law student there are potential pitfalls you must avoid all through your universities days which can impact negatively on your career. It’s not as if you won’t make progress when you do these things. It just that your career progress will only count but in the wrong places. So here are a list of the potential don’ts for any law student.
(1) Don’t get argumentative with your professors.
Since they are ones to “assess you in the exams. They may look to get one over you when marking your scripts. If you must do it like a gentleman and in a reasoned way.
(2) Be a law abiding citizen when it comes to following requirements
If the school dress code says black and white (like here in Nigeria) stick to it. There’s no point playing the miscreant. There is far too much to lose. You may run the risk of losing out on attending law school. Keep to deadlines too, if they set the deadline for an assignment for 2 p.m. ensure you comply. Again don’t overrun the word limit for an essay.
(3) Don’t forget your citations
Law students are would-be lawyers in training and as problem solvers must ensure they back up their arguments about the law with precise authorities. It won’t do to just simply cite the rule in “Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co”. It has to be Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co (1893) 1 QB 525. More so don’t say “the rule of fair hearing”. It has to be under section 36(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
(4) Don’t be a giraffe
You know what that means. It’s an “indictable” offense under the school rules to copy someone else’s work in an exam or during your final year dissertation. In Nigeria, if you get rusticated for exam malpractice you will have to wait a very long time before you could go to law school.
(5) Don’t get arrested for fraud or dishonesty.
They say a man may be forgiven and still retain the offense. A conviction for an offense could be a serious bar to your practicing law even where you may have been pardoned. It will also reflect badly on your character fitness test as a lawyer. So it’s important you stay clear of police trouble.
(6) Avoid brawls or fights
Do this in school and you may be staring down the exit gates of your school. Be a gentleman at all times and if anyone pisses you, take the matter up with the authorities.
(7) Don’t be involved in unauthorized practice of law
Only qualified lawyers who have been called to the bar are allowed to actually practice law. As a law student don’t attempt to do anything that would come within the purview of “practicing law”. Don’t offer anyone legal advice. If you do this, it could get you into trouble with the bar.
A youngish lawyer with penetrating insight, Patrick Herbert is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of Lawstudenthub, a site dedicated to helping new wigs find their footing in a trickily slippery legal profession and stay current with emerging developments in the legal industry. He holds an LLB from the University of Benin and a BL from the Nigerian Law School, Abuja. In his spare time, Patrick doubles as a professional writer and copyeditor.
If you have any urgent enquiries, you can email him @[email protected]