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I keep getting older and our readers stay the same age. I know this because weekly I’m asked very similar questions from people considering law school. Most of them are fresh out of undergrad with their whole lives ahead of them, so naturally they want to set it all on fire and put themselves through a few more years of school. I try my best to respond in a timely manner because doing law school for the wrong reasons can be a rather costly mistake. For those of you who don’t know, I’m a licensed attorney in the state of Texas who now dabbles in content. Some call me a lawyer-podcast guy.
The email below features a good assortment of questions that anyone considering the three-year endeavor should ponder. Apologies to Dillon for going rogue and doing a bonus mailbag on the day his drops, but you got mailbag cucked, baby.
I reached out to you via Snapchat the other day about some questions concerning law school. I appreciate your response, and think it’s best if we can at least try to make content out of it. I’m not sure which podcast these would apply to, so put them where you see fit.
First, thanks for finding me on Snap (@dcarterruff). Let’s make some content together, player.
Can you drink in law school?
Can you? Sure. The question is how much, and as you might have guessed, that’s entirely dependent on your level of self-control and maturity. This isn’t college. Missing class because of a hangover will leave you with all-time scaries, matched only by the prospect of being hungover in class. You’ll learn that’s not the move very quickly. Stumbling your ass through a case in front of 100 people while holding down the chorizo burger you ate at 2:20 a.m. is no way to go through life.
I went through law school a couple years after college, so my recovery abilities weren’t as polished as they were at 22. You will absolutely be studying on weekends (at least one day), and going too hard on Friday an set you back at a day. If you’re 30 or above, make that two days. Pick your spots.
Can you have a job in law school?
Yeah, a lot of people do. Some of my most successful peers found good firms to hire them after their first year, and that takes a lot of pressure off. I went to school in Oklahoma, but I knew I was going to end up in Texas. It didn’t make sense for me to get in with a local firm at the expense of my grades if I knew I was going to bail after graduation.
How many hours a day/week do you put into law school?
Generic but important answer: Treat it like a job. When I was at my best (first year), I was obsessed with school. Even if I prepared for class over the weekend, I’d still review notes/cases before class. A lot of that was wanting to succeed, but truthfully I just didn’t want to look like a dumbass in front of my peers.
Was it worth the large amount of debt you had to take on? Did it pay off?
Thanks for hitting me with the existential meltdown, guy. Ask me when I’m 40. Even though I don’t have a traditional law job, I still think my ability to take an issue and look at it from both sides is a major asset. Law school changes the way you think and exposes you to things (bad laws, felony murder rule, privacy issues, constitutional interpretations) that you should probably be aware of as a citizen. Plus you’ll be next-level insufferable when you go home for the holiday.
What does the course load mainly consist of?
Uhh, you can Google the 1L course load for whatever school you’re looking at. You’ll have some mix of Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Property, Evidence, Torts, Constitutional Law and Contracts. Have fun with Erie.
If you could change anything about your time in law school what would it be?
Ehhh, in retrospect I should’ve transferred to a Texas school when I had the chance. Also that schedule that required me to have 4 finals in 2 days during my 3L year was probably not the move.
How much harder was it than undergrad?
Completely different animal. I actually remember law school and am not totally convinced I even went to undergrad. There’s a lot more ego and competition to deal with in law school too.
Best tip for success?
Read. Make your own outlines (at least during your first year when it matters). Don’t blackout at Barristers’ Ball. If you’re doing school to delay the real world (the law school punt as I call it), it’s not worth it.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, which area in law would you practice?
Don’t feel obligated to answer all, or to even put them on a podcast. These are really just for myself.
Well, I did. Hope it helped. There’s a tendency to put law school on a pedestal, and it freaks people out before they even crack open Pennoyer v. Neff. It’s school, not BUD/S. Create some structure around your life and be good at time management. You’ll be fine..