What TV doesn’t tell you about law school

2017 Bluebook Relays champions.

First-year KU Law student Terra Brockman, front row sixth from left, was a member of the winning team in the 2017 Bluebook Relays. The annual competition is just one of the ways students bond with their small-section classmates during law school.


Contrary to popular belief, law school is nothing like how it is portrayed on TV. Unfortunately, no one wears pink blazers like Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde,” and although I am not yet finished with Criminal Law, it does not seem like our professor will be letting us work on cases in court like the 1Ls in “How to Get Away with Murder.” There are some similarities that can be drawn from what is shown on TV, but there is still a lot that they just don’t tell you.

Terra BrockmanLaw school is where you find your people. Almost every law school places you in small sections of people with whom you will have every class. On its face, this sounds a bit like high school, but it is probably the most comforting part of being a 1L. There is nothing worse than being sick in law school. However, being in a small section gives me an automatic 20 people I can reach out to for class notes. If you’re anything like me and managed to escape some undergraduate classes without learning a single person’s name, I promise that will not be possible in law school. These people quickly become your best friends – not just because you see them every day, but because there is something special about struggling together. The best of times, the worst of times, but at least you’re not alone!

At KU Law, different organizations put together events so you get to know your classmates. The Student Bar Association will make all your non-law school friends jealous that you get to relive your prom days. Barrister’s Ball, also known as Law Prom, is one of the few events where you’ll get to see that guy who sits in the back of the class all dressed up. The fun doesn’t stop there because Women in Law has a Pub Night where they auction off events with your professors. I mean, how often can someone say they had dinner at the dean’s house? In addition to both events being a fun excuse to dress up and get out of the house, the proceeds also go to charities within the community. So not only are you having a great time with your friends, but you are making a difference while doing it!

People say that college is the best four years of your life, but it’s safe to say those people probably never went to law school. The most accurate depiction of law school in “How to Get Away with Murder” is when Wes gets cold-called on the first day of class and has no idea that reading had been assigned. If that does scream 1L, I don’t know what does! This experience is like no other. You will lose sleep. You will be challenged beyond your comfort zone and will probably ask yourself, “Why am I here?” But behind every challenging endeavor comes a reward that makes it all worth it.

Terra Brockman is a 1L and KU Law Student Ambassador from Overland Park.

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