5 things you need to know before you decide to study law So you’re considering studying law. But you want to know what you could be letting yourself in for? Keep on reading for some things you need to take into consideration before you make your decision.
- There are certain expectations that come with being a law student; if you decide to study law, you will notice people’s expression change when they ask what you study and you say law. In general, simply ‘more’ is expected of law students – be that higher quality of assignments, doing more extracurricular activities (which you should do no matter what course you do) or just generally being a typically “good” student.
- You will be assessed in many different formats: Whilst other courses focus upon a specific type of assessment (e.g. essays), law courses are often assessed in a variety of ways with often one module having more than one type of assessment. Whilst you may think an essay is just an essay, in law it can take many different forms. It could be a case study, research or an advice note etc; each with their own characteristics. If you plan to succeed at your law degree, you need to be an all-rounder when it comes to assessments and not shy of public speaking. Other assessments may include advocacy, mooting, exams, portfolios.
- Don’t expect your tutors to give you the answers: I can only speak for the tutors I have encountered but if you need some help or advice then your tutor will support you and help where they can. However, they will not “spoon feed” you the answers, simply because that’s not how it would work in the real world. I have heard many students say “well I’m not in the real world now so they should help more” but I think students often forget, just because they are studying it, unfortunately, doesn’t mean you live in a fantasy universe. It may not feel like it when it’s 2am and you are desperately trying to make sense of the vague PowerPoints you’ve been given. But at an assessment centre or on the job, it will only work in your favour as they won’t be helping you there either.
- Brace yourself for all the reading: This links in with the above point due to tutors not just giving you the answers and you are required to go out to find those answers yourself. The only way to do this is research! Whether you are reading articles, books or websites, you will be reading a lot. At the time, the reading won’t seem worth it at all but when you finally find what you’ve been looking for, put it in your work and then get the result you want; trust me, it’ll be worth it. If you don’t do the reading, you won’t get the grade you are looking for. It really is as simple as that.
- Be prepared to think outside the box: An important thing I learnt in my second year of studying law was; just because the answer isn’t on the mark scheme, doesn’t mean it is wrong. Law students are often guilty of having tunnel vision and only focusing on the logical answer but by doing work experience and just generally living your life you will learn quickly that it isn’t very logical at all and neither is the law. Always think of every single possible answer to the problem that you have and you will thrive, especially where you are given a scenario and have to answer questions about it.
I hope this has shed some light on what it is like to study law. If you need any more advice or have any specific questions about studying law then keep following this blog and give me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.