Law School = Difficult?

As someone who is about to finish his bachelor's degree and in the process of applying to law schools, I am beginning to wonder just how difficult it really will be. I understand that it will be quite challenging and that the reading amount is intensive, but is it really as difficult as many people say it is?

I mean on the bright side, I will not have Calulus 1 and 2, Statistics and Probability, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, a myriad of advanced Computer Science courses that I needed to take for my computer information science degree.

I have always excelled in humanistic studies such as English, History, and Sociology while finding science courses quite difficult, especially Calculus. So given all of this I wonder… How tuff, comparatively, will it really be?


Trust & Navin are both correct.

Keep in mind that you will be in a place where everyone feels they are smart and competitive.

The first year will be the toughest, but you will have more work in your 2nd year. However, you will feel more relaxed bc you will figure out the law school by then.

My advice is that you prepare to work extremely hard and willing to give up your social life and other hobbies for a year. Don't expect that it will be easy by any means due to your academic excellence in undergrad. They are on completely different level.

Thank you everyone for sharing your experience. It definitely gave me something to think about. Just to share, while searching around I found
another forum
similar to this one. Maybe I’ll register.

If anyone has any further comments on this topic, please feel free to share.

i'm reading 1L right now by Scott Turow... and he defintely paints a "scare you to death / nothing else in life but law school" picture for 1st years. this is a deterrent for me to apply... fuck a PhD in microbio seems like a cakewalk...

I just finished OneL. I bought it after someone had mentioned here. When I first opened it and saw that he went to law school in the seventies, I was worried it would be an outdated piece of garbage. Quite the contrary. Aside from him complaining about the hugely expensive $25 textbooks, the book still came across as relevant today.

I live in Michigan. Right now I am looking at U of M (I won't get in), Wayne State, and University of Toledo in Ohio.

I found One L interesting when I read it before law school, but upon further reflection I thought it was mostly a piece of crap. I actually discourage people from reading it, as I think it is more misleading than accurate. Not everyone has the same law school experience, but if you go into it like Scott Turow, you are going to feel a lot of unnecessary, unproductive stress. I much prefer Law School Confidential, myself. Perhaps there are other books out there.

In my experience, law school was significantly tougher than college, just like college was significantly tougher than high school. I have to admit, I did my share of coasting through all three. There were times when I stressed out about studying, which I don't think was too inappropriate.

The saying that "first year they scare you to death, second year they work you to death, and third year they bore you to death" really was pretty accurate. However, I also had a great time in law school. Once you figure out what to study and how to take a test, it's all downhill. I made some great friends, took up BJJ (third year), and got to explore Chicago. Other than that whole studying thing, law school was a lot of fun. I'd totally do it again (if they moved the school to Hawaii. No more snow, thanks).

I know my experience probably wasn't the norm, but thought I'd just give a different perspective.

Thanks again everyone for your perspectives. I know that it will be challenging but I just do not think that it will be this horrible three year nightmare than some people that I talked to before make it out to be. I hope to have the same kind of experience as Xtina. I'm glad to hear that he would do it all again.


Yeah, Northwestern.

My apologies Xtina. I wrote he because when I viewed your profile it says -- Sex: Male

There's a profile? Whoops...


"There's a profile?" That actually reminded me that I have yet to do my profile since joining this site. Just finished it.

On another note, Northwestern Law does sound great. I hope the schools here in New York have a similar student experience.

It's all what you make of it. You don't have to freak out just because everyone else is doing it. You can always have a horrible time in law school. Just work on making it fun. Put in your study time, but have a life outside of school. Even if you're hanging out with other law students all the time, it's possible to find a good group that you click with, and do stuff together that's not law-related.

It's important to have a balanced life. Keeps you sane. If you can't do that during law school, think how hard it will be to live well when (if) you're working endless hours at a firm. You just have to make things happen.

"I suspect it is more time consumming that tough."

That was my experience. If you decide to do it there are a bunch of guys on here - some who just finished their first years - who can help you to hit the ground running.

Good luck!

Thank you ThaDonRiz, I am not scared of putting in the hours to read books or write papers. I am more worried about things that I just cannot do no matter how much effort I throw into them. I only had that happen once to me during Calculus 2 but did it ever suck. I see that you are from Newark; did you go to Rutgers Law?

Again, thanks for the response.


No, I went to Seton Hall.

"I am more worried about things that I just cannot do no matter how much effort I throw into them."

I wouldn't worry about that. As long as your willing to put in the time with the books, and ask questions of your professors, then I think you'll be able to grasp most of the material. There are some things that are just hard to understand, like the Rule Against Perpetuities, but most everyone has problems with that stuff. If you're smart enough to get in then you should be smart enough to graduate.

I went to Rutgers in Newark, graduated in 1998 (wow that seems like a long time ago). Law school was tough at first, just getting used to some things. First thing to get used to was how intelligent everyone was, at least compared to college. In college almost everyone was an idiot, maybe 5% of the students I saw had a brain in their heads. Law school the percentage is much higher because you have so many more people who actually want to be there. Most people go to college because you pretty much have to in order to get any sort of real job (I know there's exceptions). You don't HAVE to go to law school unless you want to become a lawyer. There's a certain type of person who will voluntary take another three years of school.

The other tough part was getting used to the structure - reading case books, socratic method (still used, I'd say about 30% of my classes used it). A little after halfway through my first semester I started to "get it" and begin to understand what was going on.

Best of luck!