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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Letter to the Editor: Law School Thus Far

Dear Editor,

Several friends (and family) have been asking me what the law school life is like. I decided to write this letter when I received my latest response from a friend asking me how the workload is.

Here is my response: Overall, it isn’t bad.

Now, sometimes I frame my response as ‘it isn’t a lot of work’ and people are surprised and rightfully, concerned. ‘How is law school not that much work?’ Well, I need to explain that response and why I find law school to be tolerable (thus far). So then, why the horror stories?

Well, first, let me tell you that law school IS stressful. Overall, I don’t want to give you the impression that law school is a big party, or even a marginal one. And my schedule clearly points out it is nothing of the sort.

True, there are many parties that you can go to, and you can certainly neglect your schoolwork, but you will face the consequences. No, a teacher will not yell at you . Instead, you may not be able to take the exam if the professor thinks you didn’t do the reading, and in law school, professors randomly call on students. Personally, I really like participating in class. The main impetus for this is the educational experience involved.
I want to be challenged.

12-hour days seem like a lot, but with that being said, your outlook on law school is really determined by you, and what you personally make of it.

If you are going to law school to either: A) make money or B) as an alternative for not getting into medical school then law school is not the place for you (BTW, these were the top two reasons on why people attend law school.) If it’s the latter (which is #1 on the poll), please re-take the MCAT’s and go to Medical School. Law and medicine are two completely separate things.

If you want money, then think carefully whether law school is right for you. Sometimes I say law school is ‘not as much work as I expected’ but what I really mean is that I find the work to be an enjoyable, pleasant, educational and overall, a very stimulating experience. I don’t find it to be ‘work’ as the type people usually characterize it as — a grudgingly boring, mundane experience, the ‘why am I even here’ sort of thing.

‘Why am I at law school’ — since the start of classes, I have never once said that and I do not intend to ever say that (well, at least not really mean it.) Some people who go to law school do, in fact, say that.

I honestly look forward to going to the library, reading cases and analyzing them. Please also be aware that my answer is very subjective and responses will vary, depending on someone’s interest in law school, their professors, their classmates, their law school, their study habits and why they are there in the first place.

So, the first step is appreciating the subject area of law. If you don’t like studying the law, if you don’t like reading cases, writing briefs, analyzing fact patterns and dissecting legal analysis of the subject matter, then you will be miserable here. So far, I am enjoying it.

If you do enjoy learning about the law, then it could very well be the place for you. However, I do hope your study skills are being perfected during undergrad. I also strategize when I do my work, instead of leaving it all for the last minute. This is only a preliminary evaluation of my schedule and of law school in general. Continue to wish me luck.

Andrew Bruskin

Andrew Bruskin is an alumnus of Stony Brook University. He graduated in December 2008 with Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa distinction. He now attends the College of William and Mary School of Law.

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