When I meet law students, I’m occasionally asked if I have any advice for them. Here are things I usually tell them.
- Avoid most classes called “Law and _______.” The blank usually represents the professor’s academic curiosity. “Law and Game of Thrones.” “Law and 18th Century Philosophy.” These types of classes won’t make you a better lawyer. You’ll spend a lot of time reading and writing about a topic you’ll never think about again.
- Take classes in data privacy, intellectual property, and labor and employment law. Take these classes no matter what, even if you have no interest in them. They obviously won’t make you an expert in them later on in your career, but they will help give you optionality. Compared to some other substantive areas of law, they have a higher potential to open doors both within the law and outside of the law.
- Here are the 2 most important lessons from legal writing: Get to an answer. Writer shorter, simpler sentences without legal jargon.
- Don’t be a jerk to your classmates.
- Nobody cares about your questions. If you ask a lot of questions or if you ask long-winded questions or if you ask questions right before class is supposed to end, people will come to dislike you pretty quickly.