It was about the third day of law school when I had a major revelation. Although I was struggling emotionally with the transition into law school, something about the whole experience was vaguely familiar and comforting. I couldn't quite put my finger on exactly what it was, though. At least, not until I rolled into the building at 8:00 A.M. one morning, threw my lunch box in the fridge, and stopped off at my locker to grab my books and supplies for my first class. That's when I figured out where I had done this entire routine before - high school.
Yes, I said it, folks. Law school is exactly like high school, except there are more tears and more debt. You might be thinking that I am drawing crazy comparisons here, but I assure you that I am not. So without further ado, here is my list of reasons why law school is like high school:
- You stay in the same building all day. Obviously, most of us went to a high school that was in one, giant building. The same is true for law school. It's not like college where you might have one class in the science building, another in the arts building, another in the honors building, etc. You are stuck in the same building all day, every day. Because of this, make sure you pick a law school where you like the building because it is where you will spend all of your time.
- Class Size. So this clearly depends on where you go to law school, but most law schools have overall class sizes are similar to high school. For example, my high school graduating class was 129 people. My J.D. class is 154 people. I go to a very moderately-sized law schools, but most are not bigger than a typical high school.
- Lockers. Ah, yes - lockers. The one thing about high school that I never realized I missed. At most law schools, students are given lockers in the building to keep their books, supplies, whatever. This is so amazing, because law school textbooks are extraordinarily heavy. Not only that, but I have a couple of snacks stashed in my locker for emergencies, as well as an extra sweatshirt for freezing classrooms, pens, and a water bottle.
- Spending all day at school. In undergrad, I would go to class for a few hours then return to my apartment for a nap or food, and maybe head back to school again in the afternoon for a few hours. In law school, they recommend that you treat it like a 9-to-5 job, where you go to school for class and study before, after, and in-between classes in the law school, and then go home and leave it all behind. This is much more similar to my 8-to-4 high school schedule than my sporadic undergrad schedule.
- Drama, "Cliques", and Friend Groups. This one is a bit more negative than the rest, but it seems like all of the high school drama comes back a little bit in law school because it is such a small group of people that spends all of their time together. There are definitely established friend cliques and drama between them already. Although I feel as though I have managed to stay out of the drama, it is always there.
Those are some of the main reasons that law school reminds me of high school. Although you might have a different opinion, it is hard to deny some of the similarities. In some ways, this is kind of nice. However, it's definitely something that I will have to get used to again, as I was so accustomed to my undergraduate lifestyle.
What do you guys think? Is law school like high school?