Question of the Week

What advice do you have for new law students?

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Diego Cervo /

In the coming weeks, thousands of students will start law school classes for the first time.

Both Ken White—a lawyer at Brown White and Osborn in Los Angeles—at Popehat, and Ilya Somin—a law professor at George Mason University—at the Volokh Conspiracy, wrote posts with tips for 1Ls.

One piece of advice from Somin: Get to know your classmates and professors. “Law is a ‘people’ business. Connections are extremely important. No matter how brilliant a legal thinker you may be, it’s hard to get ahead as a lawyer purely by working alone at your desk,” Somin says.

White notes that there’s a value in professors who interrogate students on the spot in class. “The value of a Socratic professor—or a professor who’s just an asshole—is that it helps teach you to stand up for your client,” White says. “Prepare for Socratic professors like you’re learning to serve a client—like you care about doing a good job for someone. It’s not about you.”

This week we’d like to ask you: What advice do you have for new law students?

Answer in the comments.

Read the answers to last week’s question: What’s your advice for someone deciding whether to apply to law school?

Featured answer:

Posted by Geoffrey Melada: “You don’t need to know whether you want to practice law. Many of us with JDs don’t, including the two highest ranking officers in my company. Know whether you truly want a legal education. Are you truly, madly, deeply in love with language? Do you strive for a more logical mind? Will you feel fulfilled without the training law school provides? Know yourself. Law school is too long, difficult and costly to take the plunge unless you can’t live without it.”

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