There is a lot I wish I’d known in law school, but here are just a few!
Other Students Don’t have it All Figured Out
In law school, it seems like everyone has their sh*t together. But guess what? Other students don’t have it all figured out. Many students put on a brave face, and some even go as far as to boast about their accomplishments. However, most students are just trying to muddle through like everyone else. So the next time you catch yourself comparing yourself to others, remember: they are trying to figure it out too.
Most Professors Don’t Test What they Don’t Teach
Reading and studying outside of class are important, but students learn the majority of what they need to know in class. This is because most professors don’t test what they don’t teach. In fact, during law school, I never encountered a test question that the professor didn’t discuss during class. So skipping class to catch up on reading doesn’t make sense. Instead, be present and take excellent notes.
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The Student Who Studies the Most Won’t Necessarily Finish at the Top of the Class
There is such a thing as diminishing returns, and the student who spends all night in the library isn’t likely to finish at the top. Of course, it is important to put in the work, but it’s also important to take care of yourself. When you hit a wall, take a break.
It’s Okay to Have a Life Outside of Law School
People aren’t machines. We all need healthy outlets for our stresses and the chance to decompress. It’s okay to take care of yourself, spend time with family, and enjoy the things you used to love before law school–even if that means slacking off for an evening to binge a new series. Don’t ever feel guilty for prioritizing your well-being.
Related post: Five Common Law School Myths Debunked
It’s Okay to Have Boundaries
It’s okay to say no, especially if you don’t have the capacity to take on another obligation (or just because you want to say no.) But having boundaries goes beyond learning how to say no. It involves being self-aware of your needs and recognizing draining/tiring behavior from others and putting an end to the behavior that you won’t tolerate.
Other People Won’t Get it, But they Still Care
Non-law students and non-lawyers won’t understand what law school is like for you. But that doesn’t mean they don’t care. It’s helpful to have a mix of friends–some from law school and some non-law students. The law students will understand the law school grind, while the non-law students will help you stay sane and remind you that there is life outside of the all-encompassing law school bubble.
You will Get an Attorney Job
I’ve never worked with a student or attorney who didn’t get a job. Sometimes it doesn’t happen on their timetable, but if you want to work as an attorney after graduation, you will get a job. And you don’t have to take the first thing that comes around.
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