The First Month of Law School
Hey guys! I’m writing to you from the comfort of my couch which feels significantly smaller since starting law school since it is now usually covered in heavy textbooks and random legal pads. The last month has been both as stressful and also not as stressful as I expected. I’ll be honest and say I’ve had some prettyyyy weird dreams that focused around some legal concepts I’ve spent too much time on (promissory estoppel, heyyyy) and I’m back on my coffee habit but I honestly can’t complain!
First of all, school is amazing. I am a true nerd at heart and nothing makes me happier than sitting in a classroom, digesting everything as quickly as I can. Does that mean I always get the best grades? Nope. Do I love learning? You bet I do.
My schedule is a dream. When I previously thought about law school, I envisioned myself running around like a chicken with my head cut off, stress sweating (it’s a thing, I promise) and sleeping approximately three hours a night. While maybe that is in the cards for me in a future semester, this semester that is not the case! I somehow landed on a schedule that involves class Monday through Thursday (and Monday only has one class). It feels weird to leave school on a Thursday, enjoy a three day weekend every weekend, and be back for two hours on Monday. Compared to my last job that often involved close to sixty hour work weeks, this feels pretty nice. Of course, while I’m not in class, I try to be studying as much as I can!
Now before you picture me napping all day, let me alleviate your concerns. My commute is about an hour and twenty minutes long so I spend a good portion of the morning simply driving to class. I’ve used this time to take my mind off of school and focus on things I wouldn’t normally feel like I have a lot of time for: listening to podcasts, audiobooks and calling my family. While the commute makes for long days, I’m not complaining about it (yet!) The good news is, Jake and I are moving to Syracuse in November so the commute won’t be for too much longer!
Class has been overwhelming at times but definitely doable. Homework usually involves about a hundred pages of reading for each class over the weekend but if I manage to get everything done over the weekend, it makes my week much easier. My teachers are fantastic and very passionate about what they are doing. I can’t say I love the Socratic Method very much but I think I’m just going to have to get used to it since that’s what the next three years will involve! If you don’t know what the Socratic Method/cold calling is, it’s when a teacher goes through their list of students and picks a student at random to call on. That student is then ‘on call’ for the remainder of the class or for the rest of the case or topic that the class is discussing. My first cold call was horrible but I’m past it now and there is little chance that any cold call after that will be as bad!
I think the hardest part for me is the ‘rat-race’ aspect of law school. Grades aren’t distributed like they were in college and students are graded on a curve. For example, only 10% of the students in a class will get an A, 30% will get a B and so on. I made up those percentages because I don’t know them off the top of my head, but you get the idea. It’s less about whether or not you got the answers right and more about if you gave a better answer than the rest of your classmates. It’s been difficult to not be in my head all the time, wondering if the person who just answered in class is smarter than me and if they’ll be the one to get the A, not me. Maybe that sounds self-centered of me, but I’m just being honest—it’s hard to not think that way in this environment. However, I am trying my best to keep those thoughts far away from me and work as hard as possible!
My favorite part about law school has been how much I have learned in the space of five weeks. I already know my way of thinking has changed drastically and I am excited to see myself continue to develop critical thinking skills that will help me in my career!
There is a lot more I could say about law school but it’s also an experience that is hard to explain unless you’re living it—I also am not sure that you want to hear all the boring details!
So that’s my little update, in case any of you wanted to know! I am aiming for one blog post a week on here, although I know that might change the closer I get to finals. This space has been a great place for me to get my mind off of school, even if for just half an hour and I appreciate all the kind messages I receive when I post! My blog following might be small but you all are amazing :) If you have been thinking about law school and have questions about applying, taking the LSAT or just have general questions, let me know! I would be happy to answer with any information I know.