Feature

11 things all law students will have experienced in their first term

By on
20

That pack of highlighters you bought didn’t last very long did it?

Over 20,000 new undergrads have begun their law degrees this academic year. So far, they’ve likely managed to party their way through freshers’ week and just about tackle the first round lectures and tutorials.

Everyone’s law degree experience is different (some people even like land law!) but a law student bond is formed thanks to 11 things that are simply fated to happen in your first term.

1. No matter how much stationery you’ve brought with you, you’ll have had to go out and buy more

Especially more highlighters.

2. You’ll have realised law students are unfriendly

Some of them anyway. Recent research found law students are more likely to be psychopaths than their psychology-studying peers. Is it the fierce competition for jobs? Is it the long reading lists taking their toll? Is it in their DNA? Answers on a postcard please.

3. You’ll have met your weird law professors

(Weird in a loveable mad scientist sort of way.)

4. People will have asked you for legal advice

Four days into law school and your aunt’s friend from the gym asked you to help file her divorce petition.

5. You’ll have realised studying law is like studying a language

You’ll encounter more Latin than anticipated.

6. You’ll have caught the corporate law bug, even if just momentarily

Everyone wants to be a corporate solicitor at law school. First term chat about City firm perks and salaries will have reeled you in; it’s up to you whether you follow it through.

7. Someone has already mentioned the law ball

Image credit: Instagram (@haleyherbst94)

Law balls are the highlight of the year, so it’s customary for student reps to mention it early on.

8. You’ll have felt overwhelmed by all the societies and extra-curricula activities on offer

So there’s the law society, the bar society, mooting club, debating club, Amicus, brand ambassador roles for every firm you’ve ever heard of, pro bono this, that and the other, and all the sports, music, language, culture and arts societies too. You’ll need a lie-down just thinking about it.

9. Introducing yourself as a law student made you feel superior

There’s a certain smugness and pride that comes with being a law student. Even if you don’t show it, you’ll have certainly felt a little ‘I’m better than you’ twinge when you introduced yourself as an LLB-er.

10. The cost of printing has sent you into a downward spiral of despair

That £5 printing credit voucher your mum got you as a going away present saw you through just week one and no further.

11. You now realise the next three years isn’t going to be easy

There’s a lot to learn, no doubt. Take solace in the fact that everyone is in the same boat, and that your first year result does not count towards your overall degree classification.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek's careers events:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub

20 Comments

Anonymous

Bad advice – for a number of universities, first year does count. In fact, for those universities, it counts for an average of 12% of the overall degree.

Anonymous

Plus those 2nd year internships look at first year grades.

Anonymous

“Introducing yourself as a law student made you feel superior”

WTF?

What’s superior about studying law? It’s just another subject. It’s not even that intellectually demanding. The proof of which is that to practise law you need only do the GDL to learn substantive law.

(Am writing as a law grad and lawyer, but a sensible and self-aware law grad and lawyer.)

Anonymous

18 year olds are stupid (both those telling and being told)

Anonymous

True. Especially when you meet the medics and engineers and realise their courses are harder.

Anonymous

It happens. I’m a first generation lawyer from a state school, and the pride and awe from my family/friends when they introduced me as a law student was obvious (and quite bizarre).

There’s a bit of prestige and presumption of character and intelligence if you study law, perhaps even more than with medical students/doctors. It’s only natural some law students feel that pride as well, even if subconsciously.

Anonymous

Its when law students live with medics and realise the reason why their degrees take 5 years is because their courses are harder. Even despite this, some argue the alternative.

Anonymous

Not entirely sure I agree. medics certainly have longer days, but I don’t think the actual course is particularly intellectually demanding. they have a lot of contact time, but not a whole lot of work other than that and studying for their exams.

Having lived with both medics and engineers i can agree that the engineers have a tough ride. They had a tonne of work, and it was intellectually demanding. I pretty much didn’t see my flatmate for a year when he done his engineering masters.

Julius Fendelsquizer

That gif at #11 – I didn’t know that the condemned now get a glass of wine to take to the electric chair with them!

Ian Foot

I can’t speak for anyone else, but the never-ending stream of nonsense LC articles crying about the hardships of law students (most of which are in fact generic to every degree of worth) are doing my head in.

I wish LC would stick to their mediocre (but nonetheless still occasionally interesting) articles about mildly amusing or unusual stories in the profession and in legal education.

Anonymous

You are so right.

Anonymous

This is bad even for LC.

Anonymous

In the words of Edmund Blackadder, utter crap.

Anonymous

F*ck the clients

Jones Day Partner

I regularly do.

Anonymous

Another Briana style list.

Jones Day Equity Partner

I propose we hire Briana as my new PA. Everybody agree?

Briana

No. Categorically.

Anonymous

Graduate Medical student here: you think the LLB is hard and superior?

I guess it is a KK article

Anonymous

Already mentioned twice above mate.

Join the conversation

Related Stories