How to Survive in Law School 101
last updated 02-07-2020
How to Survive in Law School 101
Law school is more than just a reading and writing skills, you have to learn how to survive. No matter what your reasons entering the law school is, either it’s because of your passion, or simply as to fulfill your parent’s dream, here is a guidance for you to survive in law school. If you’re smart, or think that you are smart, then you can skip this article peacefully. In this industry being smart is a required skill, but that’s not enough, you need to be clever and creative, both skills will make you look smarter than other people.

1. Know your lecturer!
If you want the knowledge, great. Some of us just need to pass the grade, and get an easy A. But how? Find out your lecturer! Not on their achievement, instead, find a lecturer who are easy on a final exam, flexible with the attendance, or have a busy schedule. Well, I always ask the senior what type of lecturer is he or she. Any kind of easiness matter. If you can swap your lecturer, Swap! Forget about your friends and the hour, it doesn’t matter! I rather have a 7 AM class who the lecturer known for their flexibility than have an 1 PM lecturer who are strict with the attendance or their teaching method. I learned that some lecturer will give an average grade no matter how great or bad you are. You can grumble all you want, or argue your way up, and sometimes it is pointless, but it is the way it is, you learn how to survive in law school from one semester to another semester to get where you want to be, which graduating from law school.

Some of law school can pick the lecturer on the first week, but some not, which will be discussed on point number 2. Other than that, in spite of you can or cannot choose your lecturer, you need to know your lecturer so you can strategize your way to pass this semester with a passing grades. Which subjects that take on more energy and which are not. If the class need a seriousness and strict environment, write! Write down any word you catch. If the lecturer hate someone writing in the middle of teaching, pay attention! or at least pretend to listen! Be active if you can, it is strongly recommended! But as simple as “Do not talk and do not be late” will do just fine.

2. First week of the semester is determined your whole semester.
I know this is a trivial thing for some of us. Some of the lecturer might not even attend the first week of the semester. It is crucial for law students, some lecturer might form groups on their first week. You need a good strategy on who you need to be friends with or not. You might find out on what type of lecturer is he or she, are they the type of lecturer who hate lateness or not, well, all of the people in the world hate lateness and laziness, but if you’re lucky, you’ll get a lecturer who can tolerate your lateness or laziness, but if not, and you can’t change your lecturer, remember, you did save your attendance this time. And still have more weeks ahead. 

3. Credit
If first week determined your whole semester, then your 1st semester determined your period of graduation. You need to complete 146 credits to graduate from law school. On 1st semester, your ability to pass these 20 credits are the main key to determined your next semester. Mapping out your study plan ahead. If it is impossible to take on 18 credits in 1 semester then take 12 or 14, but commit to complete the credit on one semester whatever it takes. One step at the time, is better than nothing. Either considering the lecturer or the subject, you must predict on which subjects most likely you can achieve with a passing grade and focus on that subject. Of course not everything will go as plan, but at least you have the estimation time to make your path of graduation more visible and easier. 

4. Majoring in law 
Which department you like to choose, international law, criminal law, civil law, or constitutional law? I did choose majoring in college based on the lecturer. I collect every information about which major who the lecturer is more flexible in teaching method, your decision will ease your pain at the end of your study. My interest? Back then, I have interest in criminal law, but comparing students (senior) experiences, I know my interest alone will not help me, so I choose civil law instead. 

5. Internship
This is the era of you spend your time to taste a bit of a real world. Do not chase the money, chase the experience and the opportunity. I cannot say much about this phase, every student facing different experience. Some have to experience the difficulty of finding job in the real word, some pass it easily, due to their or their family acquaintance or maybe just because out of luck. Either you active or apathetic it’s your choice. What importance is, find someone in your work field that might help you finish your report, assistance in any form is greatly appreciated. Whatever the problem you are facing, just remember your goal simply to pass the credit. 
If you don’t get any knowledge out of it, it’s your loss. In my experience, I did get the internship due to family acquaintance, I’m in luck. To be honest, nothing is beneficiary from my internship experience as now I’m working as an associate in law firm right now. I spend my time when go through a period of an internship program focusing on how I make my report done, and that’s how I survive.

6. Thesis
If you’re at this stage, congratulation! You are one step closer from graduation!
Don’t even think to cheat here! Some of you take this stage seriously and some not. Don’t listen to any kind of saying like “thesis is not important” or “it is useless”, it is wrong. Take this moment as serious as you can, stress it all you want, this phase is matter for you to build your own confidence to going into a real world. As a law graduate, people will expect that you are smart. Like you expect people from medical school can heal people. That kind of expectation are set to us as a law graduate. You need that confidence. It’s nearly impossible to master all the legal subject, but people expect that you are. That’s one of many reasons to make your own thesis. Trust me, you’ll learn more in the process. 

After you find your own motivation or reason to make your own thesis. BRAIN STORM any ideas that pop up in your head. Find your own “das sollen das sein”. For example, I love to travel. I travel a lot and realize that at the time, Indonesia needs a regulation that regulate more about platform like Airbnb, and on the process I found out that there is a regulation that regulate about services licensing for electronically integrated in tourism sector, which is a boomer! With that, I learn every legal aspect that related with the Airbnb, such as hospitality law, Presidential decree, ministerial regulation, Law No.11 of 2008 on Electronic Information and transactions, civil law related to rental and lease agreement, etc. Read the news, be aware of every aspect in your life that related to legal issues, write it down, think, discuss it, educate yourself until you find something that worth your examination.

Lastly, remember your goals, no matter what your reason entering law school either its only to make your parents happy or plan you career ahead, keep in mind that this is just a one step that you have to pass to go to a better future. 

-Praicy Tania Tewu, S.H., - Junior Associate Wiem Law Firm
Graduate from FH UKI on February 2020