The 12 Major Myths about Law School

    You will come to law school with many preconceived ideas about what "education" means to you.  Most of it will not apply in the law school environment.  Law school will be very different from any educational endeavor you may have undertaken thus far in your life to include graduate work, PhD work, bachelors, trade school, and even medical school.  Law school stands alone as an educational system unto itself. 

Let's go over the Major Myths about law school.

Myth #1:    Like law, law school will be fair.
            Hard work doesn't necessarily pay off.  Law is not necessarily fair.  Many attorney’s would argue that the Law is rarely fair.
Myth #2:    It’s the Professor’s job to teach the material.
            The converse is more accurate, it’s your job to learn the material whether it was taught or not.  “It wasn’t covered in class” as a complaint after an exam will only get you laughed at.
Myth #3:    The Prof will brief the class on what will be on the exam.
            This is an undergraduate kindness that you can wave goodbye to.  In all but the rarest situations, you will not be briefed at all on what the exam will cover.  It’s a given that the exam will cover the subject matter.  If the subject is Torts, then you had better know Torts. 
            If you are taking first semester exams, the Prof is unlikely to test on any second semester material.  However, if a second semester legal concept fills out an answer, you can bet that points will be given for that student’s elaboration.  Not fair you say?  When you enter law school, you’re not in Kansas anymore!

Myth #4:    Exams are to test student’s knowledge of all the material covered over the semester.
            Law school exams and the Bar Exam frequently focus on only a tiny segment of subject material.  Largely, this is due to the sheer volume of material covered.  The semester is untestable in its entirety without testing over the course of days to cover a single subject.

Myth #5:    The assigned textbook(s) will have all the requisite information I will need in order to learn the subject matter.
            Most law school students will tell you that the assigned textbook is the least helpful of materials.  Nutshells, treatises, tapes, gouges and other materials are the nuts and bolts of in-depth legal learning.  Each will be discussed later in this book.

Myth #6:    The work done in class will relate directly to what is needed in order to do well on the exam.
The exam will not include a fact pattern from a case covered in class.  Getting hung up on the facts of the cases you cover in class can actually be a detriment when issue spotting on the final exam.  Understanding the black letter law (I’ll explain this concept later), knowing how to use the concepts and organized writing will win the day.