Monday, October 02, 2006

Plotting Your Law School Career

A method many students find helpful in approaching scheduling classes after the first two semesters when all classes are assigned, is to balance the load. Particularly in third semester, when Constitutional Law and Evidence are consuming students live, tacking on Business Associations and Wills and Trusts can be a lethal combination for those with grade point averages on the razor's edge.

From the third semester on, it is time to look at classes with an entirely new approach to learning such as Guardianship, Juvenile Law, Mediation, or Drafting Contracts. They aren't "easy" courses, but they are manageable when it comes to the time needed to prepare for them and do well.

There is a temptation to ram through all required classes as soon as possible and then attempt to fill up the last semesters with whatever else is out there. As all too many former students can attest, a breakneck speed is not the best way to achieve lasting success. While some fortunate few can accomplish this, most cannot.

Consider using summer classes to add to your credits and taking a lighter credit load during the most difficult classes so that you can focus your efforts on intensely complex subjects such as Constitutional Law, Business Associations, and Wills and Trusts. Use classes in Landlord Tenant law to learn necessary bar subjects while giving yourself a break from wildly complex and time consuming classes.

Keep an eye to the bar. Family Law is tested. Juvenile Law is not. However, Family Law and Juvenile Law dovetail in many respects so taking a semester with family law, juvenile law and Massachusetts Family Law Practice/Clinic along with Motions means that virtualy everything interacts with everything else and you get an extra bang for your study "buck."

Clinics and Judicial Internships are critical to making contacts in the legal community. Planning for employment after school is not to be sneezed at. A judicial internship will put you in touch with the court system and possibly enter into the world of legal work in that way. Clinics introduce you to attorneys in Juvenile law, Famly law, and the diverse placements of general clinics.

Prefer business to domestic relations? Then consider Business Associations, Drafting Contracts, Bankruptcy, and other related classes at the the same time.

Consider taking Wills and Trusts with Guardianship as the classes dovetail on some issues and conveyancing works in nicely since lawyers dealing with wills, trusts, and guardianship issues must often handle sales of land. Family Law also shares many of the same subjects.

Play to your strengths. If you're an accountant and love it, find all the business related classes you can and use them as a base to build a good grade point average by exploiting your knowledge base.

One student took both conveyancing classes at the same time and learned the theory as well as the practice simultaneously.

Nothing will make law school easy. It is arguably the most difficult professional degree with the possible exception of medicine. Students are already studying hard, now students need to learn to study smart.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Terry Tort said...

Uh huh. This school is a four-year bar prep anyway so let's not pretend it's anything other than that

1:47 PM  
Anonymous BILLY "Bail 2 Jail" said...

Im a recent graduate and here are my top 10 concerns.......

1) What happened to the writ?
2) Marsha, where did your satirical articles go? I hope it wasn't lost at graduation.
3) where is the coverage of graduation 2007?
4) move on Marsha, pass the baton, yall cant be in the student spotlight 4 eva.
5) what can i do to be in the student spotlight even though i just graduated, did i lose my chance for reform?? is my voice silenced 4 eva.
6) can a white causcasian join the BLSA? i have always been afraid to ask and want to help other students who i know have the same concerns.
7) can you provide a status check regarding the third floor?? antennaes are high in the student body..buzzzzz
8) did the new cafe undergo a valid health and food inspection?
9) when is the bathroom not going to smell like fish ass??
10) kudos to whoever cleans the gazebo!!! thats all folks!!!

8:33 PM  

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