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The Law School Rules
December 11, 2007, 1:30 pm
Filed under: Law

Notes from The Law School Rules by Martion T.D. Lewis

Main pointers I thought was important from the book:


Do not let a single bad grade dent your confidence because confidence is everything in law school. Grades are not the be-all-and-end-all because in practise, things are very different. The worse academic student can turn out to be a great lawyer.

Do assignments and reading religiously, because being ill-prepared results in loss of confidence.

THINK like a lawyer

This is something I was told to do by peers and something I have read again and again in various books about legal studies. It is actually hard to properly define what it means to “think like a lawyer”. Quoting from the book:

Lawyers think subtly, deeply, and precisely. They’re full of contradictions: for example, they’re at once sensitive, brutish, quick-thinking, nit-picking human beings. Like detectives, they often have to out-think criminals. And golly, can they ever connive! They have the ability to tie you up in mental knots, and when they’re through with you, all that’s left of you is the orange juice you had for yesterday’s breakfast. Lawyers are cunning. They understand that everything is open to interpretation and are able to read between lines, to see things that are not perfectly clear to the “ordinary person”.

Lawyers understand and cultivate the art of listening and spinning facts in such a way that the impossible becomes the truth- and they get others to believe them. They have the ability to get any word (preposition, conjunction, gerund, you name it!) or fact to work for them. They have an incredible gift of gab. They are able to hallucinate rationally, make the illogical sensical, see mirages- yet they are able to convince you that what they’re seeing is real. Lawyers are sanely delusional. They are analytical, intuitive, and mad… And you, my friend, have to become just like them. Because the quicker you can start “thinking like a lawyer”, the less hellish your law school experience will be.


Do not be intimidated by those who seem intelligent; remember that everyone got to law school on basically the same grades. Do not be fooled by those who seem stupid, because more often than not this is not true. Make friends with everyone.

Moot court

Know what you want to say inside out, so much so that there is no need for even an outline or cards. Know the weakest link in your argument and prepare for it thoroughly.


Set aside time always for studies. Quality, not quantity. Make sure all cases are briefed.


Do use commercial aids (?). Utilise the Internet to procure essay outlines and topic outlines. Make and structure your own outlines; try not to use someone else’s. Use “magic” words in essays to get brownie points; understand what your professor looks out for. Do not cram. Try to create pre-answers; this is especially for open-book answers.


Do not bad-mouth anyone.


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