For anyone intending to study law, you must realize that law studies are highly demanding and rarely do law students leave on easy street throughout the course of their university studies. More than your passion for law, you have to be the right fit. You must possess the drive and right personality make up that suits the study of law otherwise you’d be in over your head the day you set foot in law school. To avoid struggling as a law student you need to do some sober reflection and decide if law needs you anymore than you need it. Here are 5 tips to help you decide that.
(1) Do you really mean to be lawyer?
In reaching your decision to study law that decision must be yours truly and must not have emanated from hearsay since 70% of what you might have heard from sources about the prestige of law would be mostly bum steer. Do you yourself find law to be interesting and exciting? Do you thrill to the idea of arguing for a living? You have to study law for the love of it. Otherwise you might join the ever growing bandwagon of the self-hateful and unhappy lawyers.
(2) Are you comfortable with responsibility?
Being a lawyer isn’t only about being silver tongued. You can’t be a blabbermouth. Lawyers are people on whom responsibility is placed. The attorney-client privilege insists that lawyers bear the onus of keeping terrible secrets and maintain confidentiality. You have to take weighty matters into your hand, while also realizing that your conduct and decisions may either adversely or positively affect those whom you represent.
(3) Are you a think tank?
Lawyers don’t think like everybody else. That is exactly why there is the how to think like a lawyer. Do you have aptitude for legal thinking? Do you have facility for words and an analytical mind? As a lawyer you need to possess strong logical reasoning. The same you’d need for playing chess
(4) Do you have the connections to match?
We know the legal job market is rumored to be something of a mess right now. But like every general rule that has exceptions, if you have connections, you might be the exception to immediate unemployment after law school graduation rule. What that means is that you have family or industry connections and networks that can get you a job after graduation.
(5) Do you love reading?
You may have heard that lawyers are “learned” people but this is only an assumption that can take you only so far in law practice. A friend once pointed this out to me when he said “Patrick, be rather a learning man”. Contrary to popular perception, lawyers are more “learning men” ”than learned”. You have to be quite taken with lots of reading. If you don’t love reading and just think you can subscribe to the idea of your being “learned” then you might as well be a “learned ignoramus”. Laws are always changing and you have to be reading to keep up. Again are you prepared to put the long hours into reading?
If you nodded to the above then you are good to go!
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 LL.B from the University of Benin and a BL from the Nigerian Law School, Abuja.
To get in touch, follow him on social media.