Overall Winner of the Blog Writing competition: Christine Yieleh-Chireh

 

FIVE SKILLS EVERY LAW STUDENT SHOULD EMBRACE AND 1 HABIT THEY MUST KICK

Do not guess.​​ If you are a law student who wants to succeed in the study and eventually the practice of the law then this is the first habit you need to kick.
In place of guessing, what skills should you embrace to be successful in your study of the law? I would strongly recommend that you start with:

5. Being Organised​​. This is one of the most critical things you will ever need in the study of law. Are you “organised” in your own way? That is ok if we are talking about the pile of clothes in your room but if you want to be a great legal mind being organised with your books, cases and other academic material will give you a clarity of mind that will facilitate your studies.

4. Keeping an open-mind.​​ I have found that not having any preconceived notions when studying the law has served me well. I try to think of myself as ​tabula rasa​ (this is a latin phrase which translates to blank slate). Leave your personal beliefs and preconceived ideas at the door when you attend lectures and read cases. Simply keep your mind open to learn – and learn you will.

3. Being devoted​​. There are many words that could capture what you are expected to do here but I think devotion really captures the essence of what you require for your relationship with the law to really thrive. It requires you to give most, if not all of your time and myriad resources to it. It means forsaking all other pursuits in favour of this very demanding course of study. You will of course be rewarded (eventually) for your dedication but you may not see the rewards if you do not devote yourself fully and truly to this most demanding master.

2. Read voraciously​​. This would have seemed evident even to the biochemistry major who never gave a moment’s thought to getting a legal education but it cannot be emphasised enough. Most of what you will actually learn in the law will come from lonely moments of reading pages and pages of what seems like pointless assigned readings. However, you will certainly have those rewarding “eureka” moments when understanding suddenly dawns.

1. And finally, ​learn to laugh​​. At yourself, at the situation, even at some of the ridiculous cases you will read. This journey will teach you so many lessons, some will be hard and others will be cool but you must not beat yourself up. And you quite simply must learn not to always take yourself so seriously.

I hope you have avoided guessing why my list is in descending order and have instead deduced that I am organised​​ but just not in the way you would expect. I hope you ​read ​​everything with attention to detail while keeping an open mind​​. This shows you can be ​devoted ​​and I hope you ​learned to laugh​​ at me and this advice I am purporting to give you who already knows so much.