Thomas Maxwell is a full time BPC and LLM Student who shared 5 myths he's learned about law school:
Starting your journey to law school can be daunting and can cost quite a bit of money, too. Recently the bar standards board has announced the removal of the bar course aptitude test, which will mean prospective bar course students will no longer have to pay £150 to get into law school.
Everyone has their own opinions or ideas about law school, what is involved and what they will experience. Luckily most of them are myths or unfounded anxieties which is understandable given how difficult law school is, right?
It takes up all your time, and you do nothing but read
Right from undergraduate study of law to postgraduate, it is inevitable you will need to study hard and read a lot. However, there is so much more to law school than reading, writing essays or practising your advocacy skills. For one you get to meet a lot of great people and you do have time to socialise. Law school is portrayed as something that is a full time 9-5 job yet there are so many students who have many nights free, or spend weekends out, because the course does not take up all of your time. Completing a law degree, or even the new solicitors qualifying examination (SQE) part time are options if you are really worried about fitting the course around your free time.
There is a lack of diversity, or it is for a particular type of person
This is simply untrue. Every university and workspace in England and Wales are striving for diversity and inclusion. You simply won’t find one particular group at law school; it is a diverse place and full of different amazing people.
Those people may come from another country, may have come from a different economic background or may be of certain religions or culture. If anything, law school is a place to meet some of the most interesting people, all with a shared interest.
You also find prospective law school students with preconceived ideas of who goes to law school… such as it is only for super smart people, or for the rich. No doubt those will help, but law school is for everyone with the right academic achievements, and now, universities are more open to receiving students who don’t have traditional academic requirements.
You are not good enough to be there
This ties into the above about having the idea that a particular type of people attend law school. If you managed to get into university, managed to obtain a degree, and you got into a law school for the SQE or bar course, you are good enough.
As long as you enjoy the experience and put in the effort it can be extremely rewarding and will pay off huge once you complete it. There will be others on the course who are thinking the same, who have those reservations about themselves, and a big part of law school is getting over that self-doubt and learning to trust that you are deserving of that place.
Why bother if the chances of getting a training contract or pupillage are slim
It can be daunting to think about the chances of obtaining a pupillage or a training contract. There must be something in you that wants to complete the course. You can use your drive and motivation to put aside any worries.
It is hard to go to law school and hard to get the training contract. But, that should not deter you, as once you finish your course you will have the required qualifications to start the training phase.
With the introduction of the SQE you are now able to complete qualifying work experience alongside your studies, opening up many more opportunities regardless of whether you finish the course or not. You need to work towards finishing the course and realising your potential.
Law school is outdated
No, law schools nowadays are very modern places situated a lot of the time within specialised private institutions. They have high standards and expect students to behave ethically and with professionalism. Although a lot of the practical and theoretical aspects of law have been used for centuries, it is nonetheless delivered in a modern setting.
Most universities are engaging with students online now and deliver their teaching and materials through dedicated online services. Campuses are equipped with high tech libraries where you can find any text within minutes from an online database.
Students are also having their advocacy performances recorded for feedback as well as allowing videos of advocacy to be shown. So, although the principals might appear outdated, law school is not. Students are given a wide range of virtual tools.
Photo by Valentino Mazzariello on Unsplash