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  • Writer's pictureLegal Outreach Project

Realities of Law School

Updated: Mar 4

Written by Zeina Eweiss

During my time at school, I had never shied away from challenge or competition. I was always aware of the difficulties and how much hard work law school would be. Despite that, I was still surprised by the true realities of law, and I believe every future applicant should keep these in mind when applying.


The study of law is fundamentally all about reading - reading cases, textbooks, journals – which is a well-known fact. But law school is so much more reading than I thought. Each year you study four modules (more if you choose half modules), and each module has set reading for each week to prepare for your tutorials. These build on the lectures and go into the topic in much greater detail. This is great because it really helps you understand the topic, and everything falls into place. But the cases are tens of pages long, and the textbook chapter can be up to (maybe more) a hundred pages. And you have this per module, per week. On top of that, the language of the cases and the textbooks tends to be quite convoluted and takes a couple of weeks to grasp, which makes reading and understanding the set texts much harder and slower. So having strong time management and being organised is vital as a lawyer.


Additionally, each week builds on the week before in terms of content, so missing a significant chunk of the course or being behind can hurt your general understanding of the module. So, it’s important to stay on top of things as much as possible. That being said, this isn’t too different to most, if not all, A level subjects. For example, I took Maths and Chemistry, and in those subjects, it was vital I had a strong understanding of year 1 algebra and organic chemistry, because without it, year 2 would be a disaster. So, ensuring you’re always up to date with your A level work and having strong foundational knowledge is a key skill you’ll take into law school.


The final shock was going from a high performing student to feeling like average (at best) in my first year of law. It tends to take a toll on your confidence as you start spiralling and think your intelligence has plummeted or that everyone else is so much better than you. But everyone is in the same boat. First year of law school is very different to A levels and takes time to grasp the skills and requirements. It’s important to remember that everyone is new to law too, and not to compare yourself to others in your class. You wouldn’t have been accepted if you didn’t have the skills for law.


Despite how difficult law can be at times, it is genuinely a very interesting subject. You learn about completely knew topics that you might not have known even existed beforehand (I’ll admit I had no idea what equity was before my second year) that give insight into how the world works. Studying it builds key skills that you’ll take on regardless of your career choice, such as critical thinking, and breaking down large and complex pieces of text. So, if law truly is your passion, then you’d find it enjoyable despite the (very) long hours of work (just keep this in mind when applying).


 

Zeina Eweiss is a second year LLB student at King’s College London, who aspires to become a barrister one day, but still isn’t sure which area of law she enjoys the most. When she’s not reading random novels, she can be found binge watching cringey sitcom shows or just hanging out with her friends.

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