Law school Q&A

Jack Vanchiere

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Law school —

A time for many trials, great tribulation and very little else. A place where great hopes and grand dreams meet seemingly futile resistance. Thankfully, we have such competent and inspired young men and women that pursue law degrees, people who go out and create and protect our nation’s laws and rights. Our very own College of Law is one such site of development and training of these determined young people, teeming with aspiring professionals.


Q: How does law school compare to undergrad?

LB: Law school is much more work than undergraduate, but Loyola undergraduate prepared me well for the challenges I faced in law school. It is also an adjustment to, for 3 years, only study one subject matter as opposed to broad humanities learning.

TE: Law school is not for the timid. People are more competitive, people are a lot smarter and more driven. I study a lot more and work more strenuous hours. You can’t get away with not reading for class because being unprepared means a grade reduction.

DB: The intensity of law school is nothing compared to undergrad—so enjoy undergrad now if you plan on going to law school or grad school one day. In undergrad you have the freedom and flexibility to choose different classes and change your major, and maybe even skip a class or two. Law school classes are only about law, they’re intense (you will get called on and the professor will know if you didn’t read), and you can’t skip because you WILL be tested on the material discussed.

Q: Advice for students applying to law school/grad school in general?

LB: Make sure that you are ready to commit to a very demanding profession. It can be unforgiving, but I think the reward is wonderful. Talk to as many people as you can who have gone through law school before you decide to attend and make sure you filter the advice you receive about going to law school based on what you think would be best for you because many people will have different and varying perspectives of the legal profession.

TE: I recommend taking a year or two before going to law school. Take time to find yourself, travel, learn through experience and not just a book. Having personal experiences really increases your knowledge and ability to understand an issue from different points of view.

DB: If you plan to go to law school or grad school, research job and interning opportunities that are related to the field you are interested in. Having a working context of your area of interest will not only help your studies, but will also appeal to future employers. And don’t be afraid to try different areas out- more experience the better.

Q: Tips for those just starting out in law school?

LB: Work hard and then work even harder. You will not regret it. Even though it will be stressful, try to enjoy it. It is a wonderful opportunity to attend law school, and time will fly by. Best of luck!

TE: Be friendly and connect with your fellow students. A reputation is everything; if you’re known for being standoffish and uncooperative, then people will remember that and not help you when you desperately need it. A strong work ethic is needed, be prepared to study hard every night and continually rereading cases and class notes. Don’t get discouraged, everyone is struggling, some are just better at hiding it. Makes friends and find outlets. Good luck! It’s a lot of fun and learning law is awesome. Every job touches on law and you’ll begin to analyze everything in a law related way. It makes debating lots of fun once you have developed your argument skills.

DB:  In your first few weeks it might feel like all of your classes and readings are Greek (assuming you don’t know Greek), and it can feel very overwhelming! But once you get the hang of it and figure out how to read cases and analyze law, it’ll slowly begin to make sense. Also, make friends with upperclassmen… they can give you good outlines.

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