As I sit down to write this post, I can’t believe it has already been a year since I finished law school. I remember thinking my first year that it will never end and then blinking and it was over. Before law school, the closest person to an attorney I knew was the ones featured on television. I was not quite sure if I was going to law school because I wanted to or because the prospects of finding a job with my criminal justice degree were slim. Once I was in law school I knew I had made the right decision.
LAW SCHOOL EXPERIENCE
Year One: 1L
For the first year of law school I did not have a choice in the classes I took. My law school broke the first year students into sections and throughout that year you took every class with the students in your sections.
First year of law school consisted of each professor requiring you to read about 150 – 200 pages of material and briefing every case you read. Their favorite thing to do was cold call students to brief or explain the reading material. It was nearly impossible to do, but some how I ended up faking it till I made it.
The biggest take away from my first year of law school was that I did not know how to study. High school and undergrad was a breeze for me like it is for most law students. I finished my first semester with a 2.6 GPA. I learned quickly that normal way of studying was not going to fly. So that second semester I made a game plan. I started studying a few weeks earlier because I realized that it was too much material to try and cram within 4-5 weeks. It ended up paying off because I ended the second semester with 3.5 which bump my GPA up to a 3.0.
However, my desire to raise my GPA made other important aspects of being in law school suffer, like networking and applying for a summer internships. So while everyone had internships their first of summer of law school, I did not. Had I known the importance of networking and landing an internship I do not think I would have felt as though I was always behind the rest of my peers.
Second Year: 2L
My second year of law school was all about gaining experience. I was determined to land an internship and join a few organizations. Since I finally had an handle on law school I stop worrying so much about grades. By the end of my second year, I had interned for two federal judges, became a member of the Journal of Race, Gender & Poverty, Teacher’s Assistant and a member and e-board leader of the Trial Advocacy Team.
As for classes, a lot of people claim that after the first year law school is easier, but I personally did not feel that way. The classes were a lot harder because I choose not to dodge the hard professors so that I was ready for the bar exam. Plus, now that I was evolved with so many other activities. I had to find a way to keep my grades up but not go into hiding like my first year.
The second year was also the year I took the MPRE (Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam). The MPRE add a whole other type of stress because it is one of the requirements needed to become a practicing attorney. Here I was trying to balance classes, activities and studying for the MPRE. For me, the second year was not easy at all. Easier in the sense that I knew how to study, but hard in the sense that a lot more stress factors were added.
Third Year: 3L
The last year of law school all I thought about was graduating and the bar exam. I had taken all my core classes so I spent all of 3L year just taking electives. This made my last year less stressful.
The reality of the last year of law school was that the bar exam was looming. I spent the second semester putting my bar application together and trying to swindle Barbri Bar Prep into lower my bar prep course. I must have spent over 4000 dollars for my bar exam.
Like most students in their last year of school, I was hit with senioritis. I was completely over law school and was just ready for it to end. There is no other way of putting it. Graduation day was the best feeling in the world. I finished up law school with a 3.3 ( I was just a few points shy of honors). I gave myself 2 weeks of relaxations before I hit my bar exam studies. If you want to see how I ace my bar exam
check out this post.
“Try to live every day like Elle Woods after Warner told her she wasn’t smart enough for law school”
No one will understand the pains and joys of law school until they go through it themselves. I learned that there was no point of trying to explain to others why law school is a different kind of beast. But like I tell anyone who asks me about law school. Anyone can pass law school, but it’s all about putting in the work. Law School will weed out those that do not truly want to be there and if law school does not the bar exam will. So stay focus and keep your eye on your ultimate goal and stay out of law school drama.