The many advantages of getting to know your professors better

Share This Article:

This may sound a bit crazy initially, but it’s actually a good idea to make an effort to know your law school professors in and out of the classroom. Your professors can be some of your best mentors, resources and champions. They will be important to your law school success and the opportunities to learn from them extend well beyond the classroom and graduation.

Gain intel on the grading criteria

Law school final exams are unlike any undergrad test you’ve ever experienced. They will cover everything you have done in a class, from day one. If you’re lucky and get a midterm exam during the semester, you’ll have a rare chance to know just how well you grasp the law and even get a strategic head-start preparing for the final exam.

Everything you’ve learned in a course will be distilled into a single 3-to-4-hour final exam. A little advanced intel won’t hurt, and you shouldn’t feel shy about getting it. Talk to your professors to find out what they consider an “A” answer. They can help you narrow down what they are looking for in your responses.

You may feel nervous or hesitant to ask, but don’t worry. Your professors are there to provide guidance that can help you significantly during exam time. Ask if they have any past exams that you can review. The more past exams you can practice taking, the more familiar you will be with your professor’s testing style and the easier it will be to hone in on those “A” answers.

Get some extra high-level tips to help you prepare for law school final exams.

Pick the brain of a law expert

Your professors are teaching subjects like Contracts, Real Property and Constitutional Law because each of these is an area of expertise for them. Your professors are knowledgeable experts in their chosen field, with many being well-recognized legal thought leaders. Some have even authored your textbooks!

If you don’t understand something, chat with your professor during their office hours. Your professors can help steer you toward what they feel is the operative fact or the most important rule of law from the case. And don’t forget, these are the people who evaluate your final exam. You want their interpretation of the cases to be front and center.

Build a relationship that matters

In the near future, you will need legal references for prospective employers. Professors make excellent references. However, they need to know you to be able to write those letters. Take the time to get to know at least one professor more personally.

If you are really interested in a Prosecutor’s or Public Defender’s office, for example, your Criminal Law professor is an ideal relationship to foster. Not only will you have a great reference, but you also will have a reference in the specific field that interests you. Your professors may even have solid connections in their field of practice that they’d be willing to put you in contact with.  

You can overcome intimidation

Getting to know your professors outside of class can help you get the most out of your law school experience. Professors are great at inspiring and motivating their students to succeed, but they can’t do this very well if they don’t know you.

While it may seem intimidating at first, you have nothing but positives to gain from building these relationships. Make that personal connection. It will be worth it in the long run.

Scroll to Top