If you or someone you know is considering law school, here are two pieces of advice. They each share the common theme – with law school, things are not often what they seem.
First, one would think that the cost of tuition would be highly correlated with the quality of the law school. Yet, this is not the case. Consider that the New York Law School is “ranked in the bottom third of all law schools in the country, but with tuition and fees now set at $47,800 a year, it charges more than Harvard.” (NY Times article) And the New York Law School is not alone. Some of the worst offenders include: New England Law (cost: $42,490 per year; starting salary: ~$60,000) Charlotte Law (cost: $38,606 per year; starting salary: $45,000), and Phoenix School of Law (cost: $37,741 per year; starting salary: unknown).
Second, for most courses in law school, your entire grade is based on one final exam. The final is in large part a writing exercise. If you can memorize the law, recognize it on the exam, and express yourself clearly – you’ll do well. Yet, most law school students will be busy most of the semester reading cases and preparing to be called on in class… both activities that can consume massive amounts of time and yet usually have no impact on your final grade. I stumbled upon the Law Essay Exam Writing System (LEEWS). It looks a little old school, yet as a law school student, it really helped me understand how to write a quality law school exam essay answer.