When you will finally begin the practice of law, you will realize that a lot of things you learned in law school contradict the actual necessities for lawyering.
The following are a few examples of things you should unlearn from law school:
Use of legal jargons
You must unlearn the academic style of writing which involves the use of complicated words, legal jargons and Latin maxims. During law school, the use of aforementioned may fetch you extra-marks or even an appreciation from a professor, however, in real-world situations, you will have to use uncomplicated and precise language to communicate with clients and while drafting court documents. Do not quote “ignorantia juris non excusat” while explaining a client that ignorance of law is not an excuse; be a clear and an effective communicator. Remember, that you will be no longer graded on the knowledge of law and the concepts. Your clients will depend upon your ability to apply those concepts and deliver effective results.
Success depends only upon knowledge of laws
During law school, you will have to memorize several case laws and provisions in order to qualify in the examinations. Knowledge of laws is important, however, excellence in application of laws to real situations is paramount. You can mug up the facts and the doctrine applied in Donoghue v. Stevenson, but unless you understand the concept of negligence and due care thoroughly, it will be a waste of your time and effort.
Success depends on the ability to solve hypothetical situations
At law school, your professors may give you examples of certain circumstances, but those were hypothetical situations, however, your clients are real people with real legal issues. Apart from application of laws, your success as a lawyer will also depend upon the ability to secure your client’s interest; you should always strive to secure your client’s interest.
You will always be allotted sufficient time to solve a problem
During law school, you will be always provided with sufficient time to complete an assignment. Most of the law students divide an assignment into parts (as per their convenience) and do not complete at a continuous stretch. However, once you start solving real-world problems, you will realize that this method of solving a problem is most inefficient. Also, it may happen that you are not provided with sufficient time to prepare for a case, in such cases, your intelligence will be put to test.
You do not need to be a people’s person to succeed
People skills are a crucial factor for your success as lawyer. Unlike at law school, cases at law firms are dependent upon a collective effort of a team. You will be required to communicate with people at all levels, from clerks to senior partners; it is essential to be humble and exhibit respect. People skills are also required while dealing with clients.
Do you think we have covered them all? Let us know in the comments below.