What Every Law Student Really Needs to Know | Top 5 Law School Myths!

What Every Law Student Really Needs to Know | Top 5 Law School Myths!

August 17, 2019 8 By Stanley Isaacs


Angela Vorpahl: Hey, guys, if you’re heading
into your first, second or third year of law school or just considering the possibility
of law school, then you probably have heard a ton of information from a lot of different
people, gotten a lot of advice, and are wondering what part is true and what part isn’t. I’m Angela Vorpahl of the Law Tribe Network,
and in this video I’m going to teach you the top five myths about law school. So if you’re interested in insider secrets,
in openly known information from people who have come before you but may have never shared
with you, then go ahead and hit that like button and let’s get started. Angela Vorpahl: Myth number one: being competitive
is the key to law school. So it is definitely true that law school is
inherently competitive. You are graded on a curve, which means that
you are not just graded on how well you do on the exam, but on how well you do as compared
to your classmates. There’s only a limited number of high grades
and not everyone can get one. That being said, if you go into law school
with the mindset of being competitive to the exclusion of everything else, you’re not going
to do well because you are going to be in a position at some point in time where you
need to borrow somebody’s notes or you have a question you don’t understand or you’re
going to need a ride to class because your car breaks down or to borrow a laptop charger. Something’s going to happen where you need
help. Angela Vorpahl: And so you want to be the
person that’s giving that kind of help to other people as well. And I’m not saying let everyone walk all over
you, completely take advantage of you. I’m not saying hand out your class notes and
your outlines and your canned answers, all of your work product, to everyone in your
class. But I am saying that in those moments when
somebody can use your help and you’re in a position to help them, help them. They’re going to remember that. Angela Vorpahl: Myth number two: handwriting
is just as good as typing. Wrong. And I know that I have driven this point home
in other videos, but it’s just so important. I feel so strongly about it. Handwriting will put you at such a disadvantage
as compared to your classmates who are typing, and that includes typing notes in class and
that includes typing exams at the end of the semester. Angela Vorpahl: And the reason is that the
goal in law school exams at the end of the semester is to issue spot as many legal issues
as you possibly can so that you can analyze as many legal issues as you possibly can so
you can get as many points as you possibly can. And just by virtue of how quickly you can
type as compared to hand-write, you are going to have such a bigger advantage if you’re
typing ’cause you can just get more words on the page, you can just make more arguments
in the specific limited time that you’re allotted for that exam. And usually the concept of typing law school
exams isn’t very controversial, but the issue of typing law school class notes is really
controversial, and this comes a lot from the professors. The professors hate having laptops in their
classrooms because all the students are just so busy typing down verbatim what they’re
saying in their lectures and aren’t really understanding or comprehending the information. But the reality is that understanding and
comprehending the information that you hear in class the first time you hear it is not
the point of class. You are not supposed to and you’re not expected
to show up to class and understand every single legal concept. Angela Vorpahl: That’s impossible. The point of class is to type down every single
thing the professor is saying so that you have that very, very valuable information
saved somewhere and can use it as you go through the steps of the studying process, outlining,
canned answers, and studying for law school exams because there’s just too much information. There is no way that four months down the
line when you’re preparing for exams that you’re going to remember what a professor
said on day one of class or day 15 of class. You’re going to need that written down and
memorialized somewhere. So that is what is behind the typing down
every single thing the professor says in class strategy. Angela Vorpahl: Myth number three: what happens
in law school stays in law school. Absolutely wrong. What happens in law school will be remembered
for the rest of your life. People in law school are going to remember
what you did, what you said, how you acted for the rest of their lives. Angela Vorpahl: So if you were a jerk, if
you were overly competitive, if you were pretentious, if you were rude, if you were a mean girl,
they’re going to remember that. And when you reached that point in your career,
which is going to be not that far down the road, when you’re looking to change jobs or
looking for new clients or referrals or promotions, you are inevitably going to cross paths with
people you went to law school with, even if that’s only on LinkedIn or social media. And so what they think of you and what they
remember from law school is going to be the first thing they think of when they see your
name or see your face. Angela Vorpahl: And so one piece of advice
that career counselors at law schools love to give is to tell you that your reputation
starts the moment you walk on campus and that your reputation takes a lifetime to create
and only a moment to lose, and so be very, very careful with it. Now, that is extremely overused advice, but
it doesn’t mean it’s bad advice. In fact, it’s pretty on point. If you think of the people that you hated
in high school or in college, you still remember them, and that could be five, 10, 15, 20 years
later. And so the perception that people build of
you when you’re in law school is going to carry over into the rest of your life, into
the rest of your professional career. So always opt to be a cool, nice human. Angela Vorpahl: Hey, guys. If you’re still with me through this part
of the video, congratulations. You are going to know law school inside and
out before you even start. So let me know if you made it this far. Drop a comment in the comments section below. Let me know what year of law school you’re
heading into, if you’re just thinking about it, and also what’s your greatest question,
fear, or worry. I would be more than happy to share with you
everything I know. Angela Vorpahl: Myth number four: study groups
are the best. That could not be more wrong. Speaker 2: More wrong? Angela Vorpahl: Study groups are the worst. And I know this is going to be a really unpopular
opinion and some people are fiercely loyal to their study groups, but I would be doing
you guys a disservice if I didn’t let you know that study groups are a total waste of
time, and law school is all about using your time efficiently. There are concrete studying steps that you
need to go through from the first day of class all the way until the final exam. And I’ll link the video up here that goes
through those studying steps from the beginning of the semester all the way to the end. And the problem with study groups is that
they don’t move the ball forward on any of those studying steps. Instead, they sort of add this extra setting
step that doesn’t add any value. It doesn’t need to be there. Angela Vorpahl: What study groups really tend
to be are emotional download sessions, where you talk about your professors and how difficult
law school is and how terrible the other people in your class are or whatever it is you want
to talk about, which can be healthy and can be helpful as long as it’s viewed as what
it is, which is downtime, which is relaxing time, which does need to be factored into
your schedule but just at very strategic limited portions, right? It can’t overshadow and overcompensate for
the actual studying that needs to get done: the reading for class, the taking of the notes,
outlining and canned answers. Angela Vorpahl: Myth number five: this will
never end. It is so easy to fall into that belief in
law school that it is such a stressful, overwhelming anxiety-ridden experience that this is just
going to be your life from now on and this is how it’s always going to be, especially
during exam times when there’s that crunch in time and you know that something important
is coming up and something that you’ve been working so hard for for months is on the line. But just remember that everybody feels this
way. It doesn’t matter how prepared you are. It doesn’t matter how great of a student you
are. You will feel this, so don’t think that you’re
going to perform badly just because you’re sort of in this black hole and you don’t feel
like you’re going to be able to come out of it, because everybody is right there with
you, and the good news is that it is a limited period in your life. Angela Vorpahl: You will live through it,
you will work through it, and it will make you stronger, and when you have something
difficult happening in your life later on, when you’re at work and it’s 3:00 AM and you
have a brief to finish, as difficult and as stressful as that is going to feel, it will
never compare to what being in law school and going through law school exams is going
to feel like. Angela Vorpahl: That’s it for this video. If you guys liked it, let me know by giving
it a big thumbs up and consider sharing it with someone who might benefit from it. Also, if you guys are interested in joining
a community of lawyers and aspiring lawyers just like you who are looking to connect to
others in the industry, get answers to questions and just be there for each other for moral
support, then consider joining the Facebook group Law Tribe Network. Angela Vorpahl: Being a lawyer is a difficult
profession, no doubt about it, and there are no dumb questions as you make your way through
this career. And so that’s what the Facebook group is all
about is connecting like-minded people and helping each other out to create legal careers
that you love. So consider joining that group. And if you haven’t subscribed yet, go ahead
and subscribe. Click the subscribe button, tap that notification
bell, and you’ll be notified every time we release a new video every Tuesday. And that’s where I’ll see you guys. Have a great week. I’ll see you next time.