Law School Classes That Aren't Worth Your Time

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on November 01, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

For a professional school you'd hope that the courses offered at law school would all be useful for a career in law. But we'd bet you already know that there are some classes that are worthless when it comes to actually being a lawyer.

Black letter law classes are good for exploring different practice areas and practical skills classes can be invaluable if taught well. But then there are those classes that you wonder how they got onto the course list at all.

We've compiled a list of our favorite topics that, while perhaps interesting, will not be of much if you want to actually, you know, practice law. Consider it a warning, and some comic relief.

  • Historical legal theory. Any class that explores historical laws, especially if they aren't from the U.S., probably is going to be useful only for trivia. Sure Hammurabi's code is interesting but your firm won't care that you know about it.

  • Law and literature. As if there wasn't enough reading in law school, some schools offer classes about law as it applies in books. Not in real life, just in books. If you want to a read a book then read one but if you're taking a class, maybe pick one with law that will apply in reality.

  • Film-based courses. Right up there with the previous category, classes that focus on law in films are not going to pay off in the long run. There are movies based on modern laws but you'd probably be better served taking a class in that topic rather than watching it on the big screen.

  • 'How to get a job' class. In an effort to boost employment numbers, at least one school is offering a class on how to get jobs. They cover networking and different career options, which technically can be helpful. But you could probably learn it in an hour-long session. Especially since the class won't help with the fact that there aren't as many jobs available. Take a class that will actually look good on your resume instead.

  • In House-like job classes. Are we the only ones that think courses on being general counsel or non-profit management are a waste of time? It might be helpful to learn those skills but then you have a good 8-10 years before you can put them into practice. If you still remember it all by then, you probably weren't paying enough attention to the things you needed to learn along the way.

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