Thinking about applying to law school? Or are you already in law school? Here’s an idea: Go to court. Instead of reading cases, go to a courtroom and watch the legal process in action, suggests a recent article from The Guardian.
First, watching the process of law unfold could sway prospective students whether they want to pursue that career. It can shed a lot of light on what the profession is really like. If it affirms the decision to attend law school, it can also help an applicant or student decide on which legal specialty to focus on.
“It can be informative when deciding whether to practice in a contentious or non-contentious area of law, and whether to pursue a career in criminal or civil litigation,” says Linda Jacobs, a barrister at U.K.-based Cloisters.
Once in law school, it can also assist students in understanding how exactly law works and improve their approach to coursework, lectures and studying. U.K. students interviewed by The Guardian claim watching a case can help with making the jump from theory to practice. It can also improve the quality of legal arguments made both orally and written. Another benefit is understanding how you, as an individual, will react to the process of law unfolding.
So, what is necessary to know before attending a court case? First, try to watch a variety of cases in a variety of settings. Check out county courts. Go to a Supreme Court, if possible. Watch criminal trials. View divorce dispute resolutions. Soak it all in.
Next, make sure to attend all of the proceeding (or as much as possible). The benefit is largely witnessing the entire process—not just bits and pieces. At the same time, it could be a very long (and possibly boring) process. It might help to take some sort of (acceptable) entertainment. Homework or class readings are good ideas.
Regardless of where you are in the process of legal education, attending as many cases as possible will do nothing but enhance the experience of applying to or attending law school. There, of course, is also great benefit to shadowing an attorney, as many cases don’t even make it to the courtroom.
Source: The Guardian
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