What’s Law School Really Like? Let Me Tell You.

When I was applying, I brought my wife to Admitted Students’ Day. It was a Big Deal. We both dressed up. She sat with me through the mock class. We had lunch together in the cafeteria. She came to the panels, went on the tour, and generally learned as much about law school as I did. It was a good day. A really good day. And though I learned a great deal, I still wanted to know: what’s law school really like? How do people dress for class? Is cold-calling really as bad as it seems? Will I make friends? Are the professors like Kingston in The Paper Chase? That kind of thing. 

I think what I was looking for was the law school equivalent of those really detailed product reviews on Amazon that you just kinda trust. You know the type. The reviewer always sounds like they really want to like the product, but they’re just not sure. They go over the results of their research. They compare models. And they’re always weirdly specific about little things: “yeah, I ran the Samurai Slicer on full speed. Noticed a slight wobble, but that’s pretty standard on models like this one that use a polymer base instead of steel.” It sounds authentic. It sounds real. 

Where was that for BC Law? Not the HR presentation, not the Tour Talk, but the weirdly specific Amazon review. Well, guess what? It’s right here. So after you unsubscribe from the r/lawschooladmissions subreddit and join r/lawschool, take a moment to yourself, crack open a Success Beer, and read on to find out what BC Law is really like…

No such thing as a free lunch? There is at BC Law!

Your schedule, my schedule, everybody’s schedule is set up so that you always have between 12:00 pm and 1:30 pm free each day. That means every single program, panel, information session, workshop, boot camp, and club meeting is going to be held between precisely 12:00 pm and 1:30 pm on one of those days. And because it happens to coincide with our only lunch period, lunch is almost always provided. No time to prepare lunch? No problem! Go peruse the daily specials on the event board. Do you feel like prosecutorial discretion and pizza, or IP law and burritos? (They also leave the leftovers in the student lounge…)

Live, Learn, Love the Law Library

There is no more powerful creature on this earth than a legal librarian. Let me put this in perspective for you. Your supervising attorney needs you to brief a legal issue that you know next to nothing about, like whether you can sue Santa Claus for equitable relief when you didn’t get that Red Ryder BB gun (with a compass in the stocking and this thing that tells time). How do you find the right cases? How do you know you’re giving your boss good law and not bad? Are you missing a key finding? When do you know you’ve found everything? After all, legal research is a bit like spelling the word ‘banana.’ It’s hard to know when to stop. 

You know who can answer these questions? A legal librarian. Study resources for your classes? Legal librarian. Printing cases? Scanning texts? Using the databases? Legal librarian, legal librarian, legal librarian. They also give away free stuff all the time, run workshops, and are very cool people. So drop by, hang out, get to know them, and bring snacks. They like snacks.

One other thing. While there are different schools of thought, I contend that the Law Library’s 4th floor is hands down the best place to study. You get the skylights in addition to the windows, you’re away from the noise, and the sun is up there every day handing out free Vitamin D. 

Stay Calm and Check Your Email

Are you anxious yet? Do you have the nagging feeling that you’ve missed something important? Are you plagued by the belief that existence is a lie and we’re just brains drifting in a vat of meaninglessness? No…? Just me? Give it time. Con law is a ways off, yet. 

But whatever your worry, wherever your doubts, I have the answer. The secret solution to your existential dread: Check your email. Every. Single. Day. 

What should I be doing to prepare for the Fall? How will I know when to look for my summer internship? What about outlining and exams? CHECK YOUR EMAIL, SON!

The universe of law school runs on coffee and email. I can absolutely positively hunnert percent guarantee that if it’s important, you will get an email about it. And the more important it is, the more emails you will get. Try it out if you doubt me. Go ahead. Ignore those emails from financial aid, and watch what happens. Email is law school’s digital circulatory system. It keeps the whole habitat healthy (along with coffee). If an event is scheduled and no one sent an email about it, did it really take place? No. No it didn’t. Because there wasn’t an email. So enjoy your summer; don’t stress. Go to the beach, spend time with family. And check your email every single day. You’ll be fine. 

Oh, and a few final words…

  • No one cares how you dress for class.
  • To mix metaphors, you will get burned on a cold call. Everybody does. I caught mine in Property. Froze up like the center of a Hot Pocket, but I’m still here. You get used to it. And you do get better at it.
  • No, the professors are not like Kingston. They’re approachable, committed, and invested in teaching you the law. Go talk to them. They get lonely. 
  • If you need to reheat your lunch, run – don’t walk – to the microwave. Lines get long pretty quick. Especially when you’re running that Healthy Choice Power Bowl at 4m30s a pop.
  • The code to the student lounge: press the two middle numbers AT THE SAME TIME. You’ll see.
  • There’s a Taqueria, Japanese restaurant, and café behind the law school near the high school. Just putting that out there.

Five stars. Oh, and one final, final word? Admissions has the best candy.

Michael Deere is a first-year student at BC Law. Contact him at deerm@bc.edu.

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