Well, I’ve survived the work portion of 1L, now I just have to hope I survive the grades of 1L (it takes about a month to get grades). It was certainly a journey but looking back on it I’m incredibly glad I did it. Yes, it was incredibly hard at some points. Yes, it was incredibly stressful at some points. Yes, it was one of the harder things I’ve done. Yet, I feel like I’ve grown a ton. Not only do I feel like I’ve gone through a process that let me grew, but I feel like I know more about myself now. I know where I can excel and where I really had to dig in and shore up my drive.
As for lessons that I wish I had known.
Work smarter, not harder.
By this I mean really sit down and try to figure out how you learn best. When I got to law school I really tried to change my studying habits. I knew I needed to ramp them up, that’s all anyone talks about once you get to law school. What a lot of people don’t tell you though is that you shouldn’t change how you study, just kick it up to a post-grad level. I won’t know for sure how well this worked until I get grades back in about 3-4 weeks but I can attest to the fact that fall semester was a chaotic mess of trying to go through all the material and figure out the best way to retain it all. This past spring semester I really sat down with a clear head and tried to ensure that the means achieved the right ends. I think it worked out well, we’ll see and I’ll write more on it later.
Secondly, don’t stress.
The fall semester everyone is trying to one-up another and stressing over “doing well”. You’ve just got to relax and breath. Law school grades have nothing to do with how well you do. They’re strictly on a curve. It’s all about how well everyone does. You don’t have to beat your professor in an analytical analysis. You have to analysis the specific material on the exam better than the other people in the room with you. That’s it. It’s not how much do you know. It’s how well can you speak to what the question asks and can you do that in a more clear manner than the other people taking the exam.
I’ll have more once I know if my revised ideas worked. Suffice to say, if you’re questioning whether you should go to law school I’ll be one of the few to say do it. True, you probably won’t get rich but if you’re in it for the money go get a job on Wall Street. If you legitimately want to be a lawyer and if you want an intellectual challenge then law school will do that for you.