As a pre-law student studying at a 4-year private school in Manhattan, New York city, there is a lot of competition, and I have learned a few things in the past three years of my schooling.
My school does not offer a pre-law major, but I chose Philosophy and Religious Studies as my major for a few reasons:
- I am extremely drawn to philosophy and religion and learning about its progression throughout the years.
- I wanted a rigorous course selection that involved a lot of reading in order to prepare me thoroughly for the difficult years of law school that I knew I would be facing.
So far I have gotten an opportunity to immerse myself in both of these ideals, as well as learning a few “rules of the game” in preparing for law school throughout the years.
This is particularly important in the early years. The more you read, the faster you get at it.
This will save you a lot of time once you get to law school, because if you think you have a lot of homework on your plate now, just wait!
Read any chance you can get.
Obviously reading for pleasure is something that does not happen often for college students, but even just reading the newspaper daily will exercise your brain.
Figure out a note-taking strategy that works well for you
As a philosophy student, I take up to ten pages of notes in a two-hour class.
While I am faster at typing than writing, having my laptop greatly distracts me from the lecture and lures me into the world of Facebook and Reddit.
Rather than setting myself up for failure, I ditch my laptop and my phone during my tougher classes and focus on taking handwritten notes directly in my primary texts.
That way when it comes to writing papers, I don’t have to reread everything alongside my notes!
Improve your writing
This is a good tip regardless of what major you’re interested in, but legal writing is very different from writing in a basic English class. It’s important to be very specific, articulate, and concise with your writing—and your speaking!
Being able to clearly explain yourself through writing will get you the grades you need and keep you in the mindset that’s necessary to move on to a higher education like law school.
Having quick access to the exact word you need at any given time is a great way to enhance your professionalism and give you the confidence you need to participate in difficult classes and frame questions in a way that allows your professors to give you the best answer possible.
By following these important tips, any student can be on the fast track to law school and develop the skills necessary to succeed!