Skip to main content

5 Things I Learned From Law School

5 Things I Learned from Law School

When people hear I went to law school, graduated, took the bar and am actually a *gasp* LAWYER, they act a little surprised. And while I haven’t practiced the art of law in over a decade, I can still call myself an attorney (as long as I keep the State Bar of Texas happy). Once people pick up their jaw from the floor, I usually get asked if I miss practicing law. “Not yet” is my typical response. And then “Do you think you’ll go back to it?” To which I reply, “Not really.” Ha ha.

No, I don’t miss actively being a lawyer and I don’t have any plans to return to the law, but I also don’t regret going through all the work of law school and the bar exam.

Now that I’ve been a non-practicing lawyer twice as long as I practiced law, I can say law school taught me some very useful things.

1. The Law is Gray – We learn in law school that the law is the law, but then we learn how to interpret it, how to defend it and how to argue against it. What they actually teach us is to not accept anything at face value. Almost anything is a good, reasonable or legal argument away.

2. How to Outline
– Law students create outline after outline. It seems a bit weird at first, but then you realize there is a method to the madness. Outlines teach you to organize your thoughts, the material and eventually, your argument. I still find something really wonderful in an effective outline.

3. Think on my Feet
– The Socratic method is painful but very effective. For years after law school I would dream of a particular professor saying, “Ms. Henley, would you tell us…” Yikes. Three years of being put on the spot forces you to be good on your feet. And if you don’t know the answer, you’d better start thinking and talking fast.

4. Hone my Writing Skills – We think of lawyers using legalese and we do, when called for, but there were also times you needed to get your point across in a clear, succinct manner, so common language writing was more appropriate. Other times you needed to lead the reader down the rabbit trail to the conclusion you wanted them to discover, and still there were times when obfuscation was required in what you wrote.

5. Reading & Research – Law school teaches you how to bolster and support your point of view or argument through case law, testimony or evidence.

Overall, law school teaches you a way to think, not what to think. All of these lessons above I am able to still use. Trust me, my kids have learned all about having arguments with mom and the necessity of support for their position. The education and experience of law school (and the practice of law) really is invaluable for the practice of life itself.

I tell my kids you don’t have to decide a career for the rest of your life while young, instead you should think outside the box. You never know where life will take you, so choose what you are interested in and what will provide great training for wherever you land.

5 Things I Learned From Law School

Receive New Blog Posts by Email

* indicates required

Connect on Social

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Popular posts from this blog

Don’t Leave Facebook for Lent – Take it Over!

  So many Christians leave Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media channels for their Lenten devotion or fast.  With the purpose of Lent being to rededicate our lives to God and grow in holiness, I understand why so many fast from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more for Lent.  Our social media feeds these days are full of darkness, sadness, and temptation.  They are far from the original purpose of the platforms to bring community together. Pope Benedict said in his message for World Communications Day 2013, “Believers are increasingly aware that, unless the Good News is made known also in the digital world, it may be absent in the experience of many people for whom this existential space is important.”  He continued. “Social networks… also reshape the dynamics of communication which builds relationships.”  This is part of the reason why I dedicate my time to sharing the Good News online.  I believe in my call as a Christian to go and make disciples of ALL NATIONS – eve

Prayer to End the School Year

Another school year is coming to an end.  And what a year the 2017-2018 school year was..... The events of the last 9 months have made me not only thankful to see it end but needing to get on my knees to Thank God for many things.  This school year began with Hurricane Harvey hitting our area and ended with the devastating school shooting at nearby Santa Fe High School. In the middle of the crisis around us there were so many beautiful things, events and people that touched and changed our community and family for the better.  Let's just start with the teachers and administrators who have interacted with my kids this year...  A special social studies teacher that made a fast friend out of my geography obsessed daughter, an ELA teacher who slowly won my oldest daughter over with her love of the written word, a soccer trainer who pushed my son harder than he thought he could handle, and then helped him recognize how that hard work paid off.  What about a school nurse who repeated

12 Quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta

St. Teresa of Calcutta made a deep impression on me as a young girl as I watched her on tv and in news. Who doesn't remember the iconic picture of Mother Teresa with Princess Diana splashed across all magazines, newspapers and news shows?  To me, Saints were people who lived a long time ago, but here she was, a saint in the making.  Mother Teresa was a role model of how to become a Saint in our modern world, by giving her life to God through her dedication to the poor. On her feast day, I want to share with you a few of my favorite quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta.   Her words are seemingly simple and straightforward but packed with meaning.  My selection comes out of a new favorite book I picked up called, Mother Teresa: Her Essential Wisdom by Carol Kelly-Gangi.  This little book contains hundreds of quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta centered around specific themes as well as a summary of her biography and quotes about her from others.  "God does not demand that