Law school is a significant undertaking in the life of anyone who wants to pursue this line of work. It can be a very confusing and stressful time if you don’t understand how to communicate throughout the course of your studies. This can cause issues between you and your professors that can have negative consequences on your academic success.
Think Before You Speak:
The number one principle of life in law school is “think before you speak.” Doing so can diffuse many situations that could become awkward and uncomfortable otherwise. When deciding whether or not to say something, reflect on what you are about to say. If it is untrue or unnecessary it is better left unsaid. If it is something that will be inspiring or helpful for others, it is best to say it.
When discussing anything related to academics refrain from saying anything that sounds as if you are blaming the other person for something. The best way to have conflict free communication with your peers is to focus on your needs and feelings as opposed to outside factors such as other peoples’ actions or words.
Communication with Staff:
Communicating with the staff at your law school is essential to your success as well. Manners and respect go a long way in law school and ensure that you are portraying yourself as a positive person. They also ensure that when you need help from the staff you will get it. Staff members of any law school are less inclined to help students who have been consistently rude or difficult around them.
Law school administrators are also a specific group of people that your interactions must be positive with. As they make decisions about the school that will have an impact on you education, so showing them appreciation and respect will get you far.
Since the backbone of any law school is its professors, it is best to communicate with them whenever possible. Students that fail to communicate with their teachers often find their education suffering as a result. There is never a reason to be intimidated by a professor or feel inferior to them. They are there to provide a service to all students and taking full advantage of that is your best bet for future success.
Verbal communication is not all that is important in law school. Email communication is relied on heavily and students must be able to handle the pressure. It is best to thoroughly read every email as soon as possible in order to remain informed about what is happening around you in the classroom and throughout the campus.
While some fail to realize this, it is just as important to be polite in email communications as it is in verbal communication. Though a peer, professor or other staff member may forget something that was said, email provides written records of your words to them. Always choose those words carefully and ensure that everything you are including in your emails is accurate and true. This is the first step to succeeding in law school.
Jay Sekulow is an American attorney who serves as Chief Counsel at the American Center for Law & Justice. He also hosts a talk show that airs on radio and television.