When I started law school I intended to write about law school updates roughly once a month. However, once the ball got rolling (so to speak), I kept telling myself to “wait until I knew more/experienced more/etc”. While studying for the LSAT and applying to law schools I learned SO much from other law school blogs. I scoured Pinterest and Bloglovin looking for young, female, law school bloggers to paint me a picture of what the journey would be like before I dove in head first. I read pretty much every post by Brazen & Brunette and found The Legal Duchess later but made my way through her archives as well. I blogged for more than four years before I started law school so it was never my goal to transition into a fully “law school blog” but I do want to be better about sharing my experiences.
Now that I am three weeks into the new semester I want to reflect on the first half of 1L year. Law school gets a bad reputation. Movies like The Paper Chase make it seem like law school will drain you of all happiness and steal your social life from you completely. While law school is a fair amount of work, I much prefer the challenge of law school to some of the boring roles I held prior. Law school is never boring (okay, maybe there were a few Civil Procedure classes that dragged on a little long for my liking but as a whole it is engaging). While some attorneys say there isn’t enough money in the world to make them go back to law school, I am enjoying the experience! I know three years will fly by quickly so I am doing my best to savor each moment and enjoy the process.
Ten Reasons I Love Law School:
1. The Professors are Passionate about the subjects they teach.
Not only are all of my 1L professors charismatic and funny but they are passionate. Each of my professors was highly successful in the legal and academic communities. I have never doubted any of their genuine desires to help law students become the best lawyers they can be. I could go into details about specific professors but ultimately my law school professors won’t necessarily be the same as your law school professors. If you are a prospective law student I highly suggest visiting law schools you are considering and sitting in on a class. I know, I know, it seems scary, but I promise it will be an interesting experience (and the law professor will not put you on the spot or expect you to know anything).
2. I am constantly learning (and entering a career that will constantly push me to learn).
My favorite part about school is the constant flow of new information. In my first summer law class I was really intimidated. I swear I looked up every few words in the case book just to make sure I understood the definition. In some ways law school is like learning a new language. Now that I have a semester under my belt I’m not as uneasy. I enjoy the challenge of learning and studying new information constantly. I cannot wait to pick some of my own classes next year.
3. The school is filled with support.
I feel especially lucky to have chosen my law school. From career advisors, to alumni networks, to the academic resource center the school has every organization imaginable to help students. If you want to dissect a test you scored poorly on, the Academic Resource Center is there to help. If you need help prepping for an interview, the career center will go over your resume, review your cover letter and go over practice interview questions with you. It feels wonderful to have so much support available.
4. My Classmates have Diverse backgrounds.
In undergrad most of the students I associated with fell within the 18-22 age bracket. Pretty much everyone was experiencing “moving away from home” and adjusting to semi-adult life at the same time. My law school class is much more diverse! There are students in their fifties and students who graduated early from undergrad and headed straight to law school. There are international students, students from different states and students (like me) who went to undergrad in Seattle and decided to stick around. I like that law school is a bit more like the “real world” in the sense that not everyone you work with will be in the same age group, from the same parts of the country, etc.
5. A Caffeine addiction is perfectly Acceptable & Pizza is Plentiful.
I once listed “known to eat an entire pizza to myself” on a dating profile, and I wake up dreaming about coffee. In law school you’ll always find someone (an advisor, a friend, a teacher, an attorney) ready and willing to meet you for a coffee date. Similarly, free pizza is everywhere! All of the clubs and organizations offer meeting attendees with pizza. I’ve actually had to force myself not to eat pizza at every club gathering for fear of gaining the “law school twenty” (don’t know if that’s a thing but it totally cold be).
6. Law school is Mentally Exhausting!
My brain has never felt more like scrambled eggs than it did during 1L finals week. When Jordan came home at the end of the day I couldn’t even form complete sentences to converse with him. I had spent all day studying (or testing) and found myself completely exhausted in a manner I had never experienced before. I don’t want to scare any potential law students, every week is not like finals week and most days I am fully capable of having full conversations with my friends, boyfriend and anyone else. However, I love the challenge that law school poses. I like that my brain felt exhausted at the end of the semester and you bet I loved that three week break to rest and recover.
7. The Legal community is encouraging to students.
Just last Friday I met up for happy hour with an attorney I met at a wedding dress pop-up shop. She spent her Friday night sharing her career path, highs and lows and struggles with me. We chatted about law school struggles, wedding venues (she’s engaged), internships, work-life balance and what it takes to succeed in her field. She never made me feel like any of my questions were stupid or uninformed or annoying!
The attorney I met up with last week wasn’t the first attorney to make herself readily available to my career exploration. In fact, as a whole I have found the legal community more than willing to talk to students about their career interests and ambitions. I am really energized by the willingness of the community to give back to students. I hope that one day I can be on the other side of the relationship and share my own career path with a law student.
8. My daily schedule is more flexible than in the workplace.
With a typical 9:00-5:00 you can’t go grocery shopping in the middle of the day, workout at noon or beat rush hour traffic on your drive home. Much like undergrad, your law school schedule won’t be all day every day. I start a little later in the morning and finish my classes a little earlier, meaning if I don’t stick around after class I can miss traffic completely. Best of all with a typical school schedule it is much easier to make it to the gym, schedule a dentist appointment, make time for networking events and study groups, etc. Do not even get me started on school breaks!
9. You really have to work to EARN your grades.
If I had put as much time and energy into studying for my undergrad finals as I did for my law school finals, I would have been a 4.0 student. Because of the mandatory law school curve, your grade depends on the grades of everyone else in your class. The grading system is super intimidating and very competitive but it definitely works as a driving factor. I never studied more than I did for my law school finals and while I didn’t win a CALI award my hard work did pay off. There is something so satisfying about working so hard and succeeding. You cannot get good grades in law school without the effort (I can’t at least), you really have to focus and put in the work to achieve your goals.
10. Your Classmates become your Colleagues.
Shockingly, law school is more like high school than I would have imagined. I have a locker, I stay in the same building all day, and everyone really gets to know one another. I have the same group of 60ish students in all of my 1L courses, and while 60 sounds like a lot of people you get to know their strengths, their habits and even their annoying qualities. The community feels so much smaller and warmer because you get to know your classmates. I see my classmates at every law school event and legal events in the community. Like high school, you probably will not love every single one of your classmates, but most people are intelligent and respectful. Law school is good practice for the workplace where you cannot sit in the back of a meeting and snicker at other people’s responses or show up hungover in sweat pants and text all class. Your classmates are potentially your future colleagues, so while it is definitely okay to have a little fun together, law school demands a higher level of professionalism and maturity towards one another.
So far I have really enjoyed law school. Of course I have stressful days, disappointments and mornings I would rather hit snooze than review my notes before class, but I didn’t dread heading back to school after winter break, which to me is a good sign! Please let me know if you enjoy reading my “law school updates” and if you have any specific law school related questions you would like me to try and answer. With that, I am off to my torts class. Have a wonderful weekend!