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Panel event features attorneys to discuss law school

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Attorneys discuss the ups and downs of attending law school at a panel discussion March 21. Photo by Marcus Hill.

The importance of law school and the various aspects of preparing for the journey of becoming an attorney were shared by a panel March 21.

The Pre-Law Advising event was hosted at the Hasan School of Business where four attorneys shared several different experiences about preparing for law school, the rigors of getting through it and ways to prepare in order to make it to graduation.

Each member talked about the difficulty and struggles that they had to deal with to survive law school and to get to where they wanted.

“There’s a lot of reading. You’ll have to read 100 pages or more a night,” said Christopher Turner, Attorney at Law.

More than one person could agree with what Turner said about the constant reading. Deputy General Counsel of CSU-Systems Johnna Doyle also talked about her excess amount of reading during law school.

“Every class you have to read so much. You have to know the cases that you read and hope that you remember the correct portion when you get called on in class,” Doyle said.

Getting in to law school can be very difficult, she said. In order to get accepted, most law schools require students to take the Law School Administration Test. The LSAT is considered essential for success in law school, according to information from LSAC.org.

“Fifty percent of law schools say that this test makes or breaks you’re chances for law school. The results follow you for five years so you have to apply for a school before the test results expire,” Doyle said.

Preparation is a big part of law school. Students should know what they are doing before they get started, it helps give them a jump on the people in your class and to understand what they’re getting into, Turner said.

“They (law schools) pretty much have your first semester planed out for you. You’ll take five specific classes right off the back. Using all of the things on the internet, such as Google, to help prepare for classes really helps you not feel so overwhelmed in class,” Turner said.

Some aspects of being an attorney are not as great as people believe them to be. District Attorney Bill Thiebaut said that they don’t all make six figures right out of school and sometimes students may have to do things that they don’t want in order to get where they want to be.

“Don’t count on making a lot of money unless you do the hard work. Sometimes you have to do cases that you don’t want just to pay the bills. Things like divorce cases can get ugly, but you have to do it sometimes just to get by,” he said.

There are other aspects of law school that can take its toll on students. Pueblo County Commissioner Jeff Chostner talked about the constant pressure that law students may have on them while in school.

“Staying in school was a big worry. It wasn’t necessarily hard to get in but it was hard to stay in. I had a class of 240 students and when I graduated, it was down to 86. Those six semesters were tough,” Chostner said.

Chostner also explained the amount of work that he had to do just to be average in his classes. 

“You have to set aside so much time and do so much reading. I had never worked so hard for average grades,” he said.

Although it may seem like there’s a lot of hard work involved with law school, it does have its benefits in the end, Turner said.

“I love my profession and what I learned in law school I wouldn’t trade for anything. I look at the world differently now,” he said.