THINGS NOT TO DO IN LAW SCHOOL
There’s always one article or write up telling you what to do when you get into law school or how to be successful in law school. Even I have written one on the things I wish I would have known before law school (Read here). Thing is, I wonder about the things you should NOT do in law school and that’s the point of writing this. Taking a walk down memory lane, I think I can say that I was able to learn from some of my mistakes and that of my friends. Thing is there’s a bunch of things you should do in law school but there’s just as equal a number of things you shouldn’t do in law school too. Here’s a couple.
- DO NOT SKIP CLASES: One of the first things you would quickly learn is that in law school, attendance is mandatory and you require at least 70% of it to even be able to write the bar finals. But that’s not the reason why you shouldn’t skip classes. Well at least it’s not the main reason why. What I learnt about the bar finals especially the MCQ part is some of it you can get from studying the past questions, but most of it would be something your lecturer mentioned in class. I can already hear the excuses in your head but just imagine how easier it would be if you just go to class. Yes, there would be times when you’d have valid and unavoidable reasons to skip classes but try and limit it to just that.
- DON’T GET OVER INVOLVED: On this particular point, before I go further, I’d like to say “man, know thyself”. You have to know the kind of person you are and the level of stuff you can handle. You don’t have to join every club or association. You don’t have to participate in every extracurricular activity or event. That is not to say you should not have fun, but try and keep it to a minimum so you don’t expend all your energy and time on things that are not as relevant as the main reason you’re there.
- DON’T BE THE DEVILS ADVOCATE: There’s always that one person who has something to say at every point in time. Their opinions are all there and they must be heard. Don’t be that person. Ask relevant questions. Take time to listen to your lecturers and be polite. The Nigerian Law School has to be one of the most sensitive institutions and the slightest thing can fetch you a query. Yes, you’re studying law and you would like to start practicing your advocacy skills but you have mock trials for that. Please don’t practice it on your lecturers.
- DON’T GET CARRIED AWAY: I haven’t been to a place easier to lose focus than in the Nigerian Law School. You’re surrounded by a lot of people with different backgrounds and it can all feel very big at some point. It’s easy to lose focus and get carried away by irrelevant things. Don’t be one of those people.
- DON’T FORGET THE BIG PICTURE: There isn’t a more humbling experience like going through law school. The stress, the overwhelming speed at which it goes even though the days seem long and the nights seem short will almost break you but don’t lose sight of the end goal. You are going to be a lawyer one day. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and want to just stop. During my time, we had a student pack up her things and decide she was done. That’s how intense it can get but don’t let that worry you. There have been people before you. You will be just fine. Just keep pushing through and taking it one day at a time.
Bear in mind that as it is with everything in life, there are no hard and fast rules and not everything works for everyone. But as generally speaking as it can be, this works. There are a lot of dos and don’ts when it comes to being in the Nigerian Law School and I wish I could give you every single one of them. But I hope some of these ones can help you get through the insane journey that is the Nigerian Law school.
CONTRIBUTED BY HANNAH K. ESQ.