The law is a set of rules and codes which bind our society together. The legal system is responsible for guiding, enlightening, and protecting us. The law gives us the principles to lead a good and decent life.
Without law and order our world as we know it would be in utter chaos. And yet life is not always black and white. Sometimes the truth is not so obvious and to find the correct course of action we must argue for and against the subject.
Lawyers are responsible for providing evidence, sound reasoning, and ultimately representing their clients in court in the best manner possible. Lawyers also advise their clients, oversee financial transactions, conduct research on legal issues, mediate disputes, and prepare legal documents related to divorces, wills, and contracts.
Becoming a lawyer requires substantial skills, nuance, and a great deal of knowledge. Lawyers gain this knowledge at law school, widely recognized as one of the most difficult educational programs.
But how difficult is law school? And how does it compare to other degrees? In this article, we will attempt to answer all these questions and more.
Is Law School Hard?
Law school is undeniably hard. Many students find law school to be difficult due to the intense competition, huge workload, fast-paced studies, complex concepts, challenging exams, and lots of research assignments.
Law schools are notorious for their extensive curriculums. Law schools ensure that students are well versed with a wide range of topics, know the ins and outs of their work, and are able to read between the lines. To produce competent lawyers, law schools must have a tough and challenging program.
The one exam per semester format of law school makes it rather difficult for most students. In other degree programs, various tests and quizzes scattered throughout the semester means that you have greater room for making mistakes. However, law schools typically have one big exam at the end which means all your eggs are in one basket.
The bell curve of law school exams trips a lot of students up. Not only do you have to completely master the material, but you must do it better than your class fellows. This is because only a fraction of the class will do well on any particular exam thanks to the bell curve.
The competition in law school is cutthroat. Some of the most hardworking and dedicated people will be competing with you. The competitiveness of the program will add to the overall stress and difficulty of law school.
Furthermore, students find that their grades completely depend on their professors’ opinions. Almost like a real court case where your argument is only as good as the judge or jury finds it.
Law school is extremely fast-paced compared to high school or college. While it is very much possible to miss a lecture here and there and make it up by simply reading the textbook at the undergrad level that is simply not the case in law school. A few missed lectures can severely set you back to the point where it may feel like you are buried in work.
These problems can be mitigated with various workload and stress management techniques but ultimately law school is no joke and you must stay on top of your game.
What is the Hardest Year of Law School?
Most students find the first year of law school to be the hardest. This is because the leap in difficulty from high school to law school is massive. There will be a huge surge in workload, more complex concepts, and challenging exams that take a lot of time adjusting to.
Everything is new and alien in the first year of law school. The academic material is complex and the workload far greater than anything students have seen before. Things get easier as students acclimatize after the first year.
The sheer volume of reading and memorization in law school is at a different level altogether. The reading covers everything from former cases, analyses, and critiques to articles, theories and excpetions. Law itself is a large and strict set of rules, codes, and regulations which aspiring lawyers must fully understand at the technical level.
Most law schools do not allow students to select courses according to their preferences instead they prescribe a predetermined set of classes in the first year. These courses cover various aspects of law and provide a strong foundation to their legal education.
While is beneficial to the students in the long term it makes their first year more challenging as they will be studying aspects of the law they have no interest in pursuing professionally.
Is Law School Stressful?
Law school is quite stressful. The material in law school is complex, the expectations are high, and there is intense competition. These factors together make law school very stressful and challenging.
As mentioned previously the workload is immense. There are all kinds of assignments that are designed to give you a complete and well-rounded education. but what that ends up entailing is not only several different kinds of assignments but also several different methods of preparation and practice for each assignment and test.
Many students particularly those in the United States have to take large sums in student loans to pay for law school. The added pressure of being in debt can make law school even more stressful. To reduce the financial burden students often take part-time jobs which adds to their already exhausting schedule.
Is Law School Harder Than Engineering?
Law school is equally hard as engineering. Individuals with good comprehension, reading, writing, communication, and analytical skills will find law school slightly easier. Those students who are good with math and science will find an engineering degree to be less challenging than law school.
Law and engineering are very demanding and difficult degrees. At the end of the day which subject you find harder depends on your strengths and weaknesses.
Engineering requires you to learn and apply extremely technical and high-level mathematics. If you found high school math challenging, then you will find university math almost unbearable.
Conversely, if have a natural affinity for math and science then you might find engineering an easier venture than law school. This is especially true if you are not brilliant at reading and memorizing large amounts of information which is a fundamental requirement at law school.
Although both degrees require you to be good at problem-solving; memorization plays a greater role in law.
One thing to note is that the first year of law school covers many of the most difficult concepts which make it extremely difficult but you get used to the expectations in the subsequent years. In engineering, the curriculum only gets tougher with each passing semester.
Is Law School Harder Than Nursing School?
Law school is slightly harder than nursing school. The law school curriculum has a wider variety of topics and more complex concepts and is more mentally demanding. Although nursing school is quite challenging it is not as difficult as law school.
Law (especially in the states) is a graduate-level degree while nursing is either a two- or four-year program. They both require massive amounts of dedication.
The primary focus of the nursing school curriculum is on the human body and medicine. The advanced vocabulary used in nursing school is no match to the jargon expected of law students.
Law has a far more diverse range of topics to read and learn. You cover everything from family law, politics, and history to intellectual property, corporate, and tax laws.
Aspiring nursing and law students are expected to have excellent verbal skills. A lawyer’s communication skills are crucial for convincing people to hire you and to adequately defend your clients in court. Contrastingly, nurses are expected to use their verbal skills to empathize, comfort, or relax a patient.
The verbal skills required for lawyers, however, are much more rehearsed and sophisticated.
Nursing requires more physical activity as nurses are often rushing to get to patients in times of emergency. Nurses need to be able to think on their feet and improvise in extreme situations.
Lawyers too, carry a huge weight of pressure in certain situations knowing their clients’ futures depend on them.
Some people may underestimate the effort required to become a nurse by ignoring the emotional and mental toll. Overall, both nursing and law school are challenging institutions. You should base your decision on your strengths, weaknesses, and preferences.
What is the Hardest Part about Law School?
The hardest part about law school is the Socratic method. In this technique, the professor picks out a student and barrages them with questions. The goal is to test the student’s understanding and use of logic. Answering tough questions in the middle of the class can be quite intimidating.
The professors will poke holes in the students’ arguments and point out all of the flaws. Many professors are extremely vicious in the way they go about doing this.
Many students, especially those new to law school find the Socratic method supremely challenging and rate it the toughest aspect of law school.