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Randomness from a 2005 graduate of The Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University

 

Saturday, November 15, 2003

I just got an email from someone asking for advice about applying to law school, and if it is wise to work in between undergrad and law school. First of all, everytime I get an email from someone who reads this it puts me into shock. Second, I've decided that this email gives me permission to join the ranks of those who attempt to offer advice. So, here are the most important bits of wisdom(?) I have for those who may be contemplating law school.

1. Do not go straight to law school. Work for a year. Or two. Of five. Or ten. Working will give you a healthier perspective on what matters and help you see that law school is not the hardest nor the most stressful thing you will ever do. It will help you figure out if you really want to go to law school, or if maybe you really want to be a teacher, or a computer programmer, or a clown. There are too many people who go to law school because they don't know what else to do, or they were a political science major and law school is "the next logical step," or their parents want them to, or some other reason than they really want to be a lawyer. Law school is too hard and too expensive to commit to it if you are not really sure it is for you.

2. Do not worry about going to the "best" school - figure out what is the best school for you. There is a lot of advice out there that you should go to the best school you can get into. There is a lot of validity to this, especially if your goal is to work at a really big firm. But even if you decide the ranking of your school will matter, a number one way or the other shouldn't matter. Tiers probably matter, whether it's #17 or #19 won't. If you aren't going to one of the very, very top schools, you're probably smarter worrying about location. Any school is regarded better locally than nationally, so equally ranked schools are not equal in the other school's city. Visit the school, see what it feels like, there really is such a thing as the right fit. Find it.

3. Figure out your relationship issues. It is important in law school to have friends to turn to. So, treat the people you care about right and show them they are valued. But if you have negative relationships in your life, deal with them now. I ended up moving out of the apartment I shared with my boyfriend during the second week of law school. That was not a good plan. You do not need any extra stress in your life when you enter law school. Deal with it now. Get on anti-depressants, go to a therapist, dump your boyfriend or girlfriend - do what you need to do. And if things are good, let those around you know how much you appreciate it.

That's it for now. Oh yeah, and proofread your applications. Don't make yourself look like an idiot. If I were on the admissions committee I would hold it against you, so they almost certainly do. Good luck to all. |
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