There is no single path that will prepare you for a legal education. Students who are successful in law school and who become accomplished professionals come from many walks of life and educational backgrounds. Some law students enter law school directly after their undergraduate studies without any post-baccalaureate work experience. Others begin their legal education significantly later in life, and they bring to law school the insights and perspectives gained from those life experiences. Legal education welcomes and values diversity because students benefit from the exchange of ideas and different points of view that colleagues bring to the classroom.
Laws are a product of our history, governmental structure, social, religious and political norms, and past and present technological developments. Therefore, a broadly educated person with an aptitude for critical thinking and analysis is a student well-prepared to appreciate and understand the function of legal analysis, planning, and advocacy in our modern society.
Generally, law schools look for bright, well-rounded individuals who have a strong interest in law and a desire to give back to the community. Although not all law school graduates will practice law, they may still use their degrees in fields that are affected by law’s pervasive reach.
What is law?
In practice, law is the application of abstract rules (laws) to concrete situations in order to resolve actual or potential conflict. Law impacts every aspect of society. Lawyers work in all areas of society, from public practice to private firms, from trials in court to teaching in academia, and from general law to specialty areas of law such as corporate, entertainment, copyright, criminal, family, environmental, international, tax, and so on.
Lawyers work with clients from all segments of society to help resolve problems in the most civil manner available. A lawyer must have analytic, creative, and logical reasoning skills, as well as reading, writing, and debating skills. Lawyers must know how to analyze legal issues in light of constantly changing laws and public policy. Within the context of the legal system, they must be able to advocate for individuals and diverse interest groups, represent viewpoints other than their own, and give accurate, intelligent counsel. In particular, lawyers must be able to write clearly, communicate effectively, and negotiate persuasively.
Observe a law school class
From August through May, you can sit in on a law school class in progress at the William S. Richardson School of Law on the UH Mānoa campus. This is a good way to get first-hand exposure to what law school is really like. Click here to check out the law school’s schedule for class times and to set up a tour: Schedule a Visit