Studying Law at University: Everything You Need to Know

By Simon Chesterman; Clare Rhoden | Go to book overview

1
WHY ARE YOU
STUDYING LAW

In the first week of my first year of law school, everyone wanted to know why everyone else decided to study law. It became a sort of running joke to say, ‘Well, you know, I got the marks’.

Future Attorney-General


WHY AM I HERE?

‘Out of the frying pan…’

There are many reasons why you might choose to study law. Some students are attracted to understanding the forces that shape our society; others enjoy the thought of getting their hands on those forces. Some students see law as a useful tool for justice, others see it as a respectable and rewarding career. Still others are following the footsteps of family, friends or other people they admire.

But we also know that a great many law students have no definite reason for commencing law. In addition, the reasons given by the rest often change over the course of the degree, as they gain greater understanding of what the law is, what it means, and what it can (and can't) do.

A former Australian Vice-Chancellor recently described Law as having become a de facto Arts degree. By this, he meant that it is now a generalist degree that students

-3-

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Studying Law at University: Everything You Need to Know
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Other Titles in This Series *
  • Title Page *
  • Foreword v
  • Contents vii
  • Figures x
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction xii
  • Part I - Surviving Law 1
  • 1 - Why Are You Studying Law 3
  • 2 - Coping at University 18
  • 3 - Essential Study Skills: Time Management 24
  • 4 - Essential Study Skills: Reading, Note-Taking, and Learning Legal Concepts 41
  • Part II - Understanding Law 61
  • 5 - Crucial Concepts 63
  • 6 - Reading Case Law 68
  • 7 - Introducing Legal Theory 78
  • Part III - Using the Law 89
  • 8 - Writing Law Essays 91
  • 9 - Preparing for Law Exams 106
  • 10 - Sitting Law Exams 116
  • 11 - Dealing with Problems 130
  • Part IV - Conclusion 139
  • 12 - Final Reflections on Law 141
  • Appendix I - Suggestions for Further Reading 143
  • Appendix II - Learning Styles Quiz 145
  • Appendix III - A Starting Point for Using Web Resources 150
  • Appendix IV - The View from the Kitchen 153
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