A Beginner's Guide to Legal Education

Professor James R. Elkins
College of Law, West Virginia University


The Law School | Classroom Experience

"[T]here are many individuals out there who are very confident that they know the 'truth' of the law school experience, in fact, there are very few people who have the kind of perspective on what is occurring in the law school that can be helpful to the students in the long run." [Peter F. Lake, When Fear Knocks: The Myths and Realities of Law School, 29 Stetson L. Rev. 1015, 1017 (2000)]

Generally, "[t]here is no 'Introduction to the Law' course for first-year students, no course in 'The Western Legal Tradition.' You'll immediately find yourself in the thick of things--with assignments to prepare for your very first day of classes. Ironically, if you want an Introduction to the Law or to the Western Legal Tradition, you better get it before you go to law school. . . . Otherwise, you'll have to wait until the dust settles from your first year." [Atticus Falcon, Planet Law School 13 (Honolulu: Fine Print Press, 1998)]

Legal Learning for Current Law Students
Carolyn Nygren, FindLaw

Surviving Law School
David Steinberg, Thomas Jefferson School of Law; YouTube video

Law School Competition
YouTube video; from the film, "The Trials of Law School"

Law School and Stress
Barbara Glesner Fines, University of Missouri, Kansas City School of Law

Advice from the Blogsphere
Paul L. Caron, TaxProf Blog

Law School vs. Medical School
Blog by Carey Cuprisin

A Handbook
American University, Washington School of Law


Stemming the Tide of Law Student Depression
Todd David Peterson & Elizabeth Waters Peterson

YouTube Videos

Video Collection


Justgal's Journal
Kelly Rodgers, Detroit College of Law, Michigan State University

Thoughts on Law School
Alice Marie Beard

 Letters from Law School: The Life of a Second-Year Law Student
book excerpt, Lawrence Dieker Jr., graduate of Tulane Law School

Reflections on the First Year

The First Year
Chicago-Kent College of Law