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The Most Valuable Lesson Learned in Law School

The Most Valuable Lesson Learned in Law School

What’s the most valuable lesson you took away from law school? Was it the importance of working as a team? How about the grounding in basic concepts about the law? We posed this question to alumni from the Class of 1986 (25 years ago) and 1961 (50 years ago). Here are some of the responses: 

Class of 1961

Joseph Brant, Katz, Teller, Brant & Hild Company LPA

I don’t know if it is the most valuable lesson, but the study groups that we formed to prepare for exams showed me how much we could learn from our peers. Today I still have a group of estate planners that meet once a month to discuss the latest news and get help on current estate tax questions.

Jim Coogan, Drew & Ward Co., L.P.A.

We were grounded in torts, contracts, and property…areas that are so important to my practice today. The grounding that I received in these basic fundamentals made me very comfortable with the law. I go back to these basic concepts even today.

Ron Joseph, President and CEO, Joseph Automotive Group, Columbia Development

At the College, I learned the meaning of “law,” its interpretation and applicability, and was prepared to be an attorney.  But I chose a different path.  I entered the business world.  Each and every day in that world I draw on the knowledge and critical thinking skills that were developed during my years at UC.  I learned to think clearly and present my ideas and plans persuasively.  In other words, thanks to the UC College of Law, I learned how to live a productive life in the field of business.

Samuel S. Wilson, Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Law

Law school is a splendid education. It teaches you great technique and situation analysis.

Class of 1986

Allan Berliant, President, Best Express Foods

Perhaps the most important thing I learned in law school was how to think critically; how to analyze a situation and think it through from beginning to end.  Essentially, law school taught me how to attack a problem from a linear and logical manner.

Ralph Kohnen, Partner, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

The most important lesson I learned from law school was the importance of logical arguments, particularly as opposed to emotional arguments or arguments that are disorganized.

Lynn Marmer, Group Vice President, Kroger Inc.

The most valuable lesson I learned from law school was to believe in myself.  Law school gave me lots of “hard skills” including critical thinking and writing.  I use those skills daily.   The deeper lesson I learned in law school, however, was to collaborate and listen to others and also to trust my own judgment and point of view.     

Jeffrey McKenzie, Member, Greenbaum Doll & McDonald PLLC

Law school taught me that each area of law has its own logic to it, and if you learn that logic, then you can effectively put its principles into practice.  My three years in law school also taught me that hard work does pay off.  I also learned that I like the business side of law, and that knowledge has helped me in my career.


What’s the most valuable lesson you learned in law school? Share it with us.