A Quora reader recently asked an interesting question about law school. While much of the content on the Internet focuses on the negative aspects of law school, the reader asked about the great aspects of law school.
I think the most obvious benefit was that my classmates pushed me to my intellectual limits. Law school is somewhat analogous to an intellectual boot camp, where you will be tested on a daily basis. Your professors and classmates will challenge your thinking, whether that’s in one of your courses or while you’re in your study group. This can be somewhat unnerving at first, but it ultimately pays off in the long run, as your thinking becomes sharper and clearer.
On the flip side, these intellectual challenges can cause stress. Law school has many Type A personalities, and law students are known to be competitive. I was lucky since Penn Law is known to be very collegial, but the same can’t be said of other law schools throughout the United States. The stress is exacerbated by the fact that your 1L grades play a large part in determining the jobs you obtain after graduation. You’ll have to find a way to handle this pressure, which in reality is great practice for when you practice law.
Another clear benefit is that law school forces you to focus on esoteric, complicated material for long periods of time. Even though you may not care about the intricacies of civil procedure or property law, you’re going to have to put in the time and study the minutiae. This is a great skill to have (even if you ultimately do not practice law). As a practicing litigator, I heavily relied on this skill when I encountered assignments that did not interest me.
Law school itself does have its challenging moments. However, it's a crucial time for growth. By graduation day, you will have created a foundation and developed the intellectual horsepower to begin your career.