Classroom Survival 101: 10 Classroom Do’s and Don’ts For Law Students
As professions go, the legal profession happens to top the list of professions with intemperate regulations designed to keep us all in line. There are hardly any provisions for individual extravagance or excesses as lawyers and law students alike are all expected to appear responsible and sober at all times. Lawyers have to array themselves in the proper garb, namely the wig and gown (we’ve explained the reasons why it’s still in use), and observe the proper courtroom etiquette when appearing in court. And when outside the court, they are to avoid ethical blunders in dealing with clients, at their respective places of work and even on social media of all places a violation of which could result in disbarment. Break one of them, and you’ll have hell to pay. And law students are not left out entirely, there are the top 7 things you must not do as law student and to top that list, there are classroom etiquette governing conduct within the classroom which we are going to adumbrate shortly. So given this stringent rule-dominated existences expected of all members of the noble profession, you’d understand why any free thinker who adores their personal freedom would want to pass over the lure of law practice and join in the types of law students who might not practice law.
Back to where we were. There are about 10 do’s and don’ts you’d be expected to observe in the classroom upon admission into the university which you must really heed if you don’t want to get into any kind of trouble. Ready? Here they are;
(1) If you are really smart, people will figure you out. You won’t have to tell them and they will love you the more for not telling them.
(2) The chewing of gum in the classroom will stamp you out as a common.
(4) When entering or leaving the classroom, ensure you glance in the direction of your lecturer and if they are looking bow pleasantly
(4) Address professors and lecturers in a very professional tone. Don’t be too familiar.
(5) Your GPA and class rank belong only on your resume- keep them at arm’s length from all things social media.
(6) Discuss grades only with your allies and never go bragging about how “awesome” you think you are. You’d suck
(7) Avoid chatting and texting when class is ongoing so you don’t distract classmates and incur their displeasure. Put your mobile tech on silent while class is on. That way angry heads won’t roll your direction when your tech blips before the whole class.
(8) Never ask for permission from your lecturer during an ongoing class to take a call outside unless it’s a critical emergency.
It may send the wrong message that the lecturer’s class only merits a place in your garbage dump. Trust me on this.
(9) Nobody likes a gunner.
Raising your hand to answer every question asked in class will earn you the tag of “questionnaire”. In school your grades stand over you the while and thunders so no one could hear you say anything to the contrary.
(10) Be on the level with your school norms and values especially those of dress codes.
Don’t be a deviant, as this could mean trouble especially here in Nigeria where the Dean could comment on this in filling your law school reference forms.
Bonus: Arrive class early. That way you won’t interrupt lectures when you waltz in late.
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.