Is Law School Hard?

Everyone seems to have an opinion on this. Guess what! I do too.

When I was in the second grade, I had to learn this really difficult concept. It involved taking a two-digit integer and then adding it with another two-digit integer. That’s right, I had to learn addition with numbers bigger than 10. That was tough.

So, rather than listen to my teacher, I did the more obvious thing. I turned to my buddy Jesse and asked him how he did it. He told me what to do, it made sense, and I did it. The only problem was that Jesse didn’t know what he was doing either. We were both seriously wrong, and it took quite a bit of coaching from Mrs. Pearce to finally understand double-digit addition.

Law school is just like that second grade math lesson. It’s new and different from things you’ve learned in the past.

Law school is different and that makes it hard

The way things work in law school is not all that different from how things worked back in second grade. The biggest difference is that there is way less interaction with the professors and the students. So, essentially, all you have is a bunch of new students trying to figure out how to make it work.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

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Take a minute or two and think back on a time when you were forced to learn something in a way you’ve never done it before. I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that it was a struggle trying to figure it out and making it second nature. It was hard.

That’s law school.

Law school is competitive.

Every student you’re in law school with is the same as you. Well, it’s mostly true. Most of the students in your law school are going to have the same undergraduate GPA and the same LSAT score.

Is Law School Hard?

A single law school exam will determine your grade for most of your classes.

However, the entire grading system is based on a curve. So, that means your grade is wholly dependent on how you score on an exam, compared to everyone else in your class. On top of that, many times, your exam is the only thing you’re graded on the entire semester.

So, while you don’t have much homework, every single person in your class will affect your grades.

This can lead to some serious competition between the students. You see, there aren’t very many A’s given out. You’ll quickly find out that some of the students will do whatever it takes to get those A’s.

Law school forces you to analyze stuff differently…way differently

From day one in law school, everything you learned in undergrad get thrown out the window. All those tricks you had to get good grades don’t work at law school.

When you read in law school, oftentimes you have to pick, laboriously (that’s my one long word for this article), through some super dense reading. Try this case, just to see what I mean. It’s awful. The whole point of reading stuff like this is to get you to find the rule.

Find the rule.

Find the rule.

That’s it. You need to find the rule, and then you need to memorize it.

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Sometimes these cases will take over an hour to get through…and that’s just one case. It’s tough. But it gets easier. With time, law students figure out how to get to the law quickly. Luckily, most cases are written in a pretty predictable pattern.

But, it’s still not easy, at least in the beginning.

So, the next time you hear about how law school is hard, just remember: everything is hard when you’re just starting out.

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  • Randall

    Randall earned his JD from the University of Denver in 2013. He received his BA in Communications and Social Science from the University of Washington in 2010. Randall took the LSAT twice, and managed to improve his score by 14 points the second time around. He paid the price of learning to score high on the LSAT and hopes to help other potential law students avoid similar pain.

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2 Responses to Is Law School Hard?

  1. Steve December 3, 2019 at 9:14 AM #


    Q: The rule of law? Like case reference etc.

    Just want to be clear.

    Thinking about law school.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 6, 2020 at 1:50 PM #

      Hi Steve, I’m afraid I’m not quite sure what you are asking. Can you please provide some more detail? Thanks 🙂

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