What I learned in my first year of law school

My overall experience in my first year in law school was amazing, scary, and life-changing *wow*. I remember when I first found out I got into law school, I was a mix of emotions — happy, excited, and scared. Let me share what I learned and experienced in my first year of studying the law.

This is a repost from my previous (now deleted) blog. This was initially written in April 2019.

The Anxiety
I grew up being super shy and quiet. Talking to one person made me squeamish and speaking in front of a crowd just made me feel like an idiot. But in law school, my anxiety levels were over the roof. There will be a lot of studying and memorizing, then comes along the graded recitations during classes. Gladly, I survived it.

Reading will be your life. No doubt about it. In law school, you will have an assigned textbook for each class, maybe two to three reference books, a codal, a reviewer book, and a million cases. There is so much to read that I had to read every day.

Nothing is better than good preparation. Remember when I said my anxiety levels were over the roof? The best prevention to that was preparing before class started. There’s no space or time to be lazy in law school. Just do the readings and study in advance and you’ll (mostly) be fine.

One can never have too many business clothes. The one thing I often enjoyed in law school were those days that I attempted to dress like a lawyer. Not all my professors required the students to come to class in business attire and it is good practice for when I actually have to dress up for court one day.

Law school is also life. I have friends in law school and non-law school friends. When I’m with the former, all we talk about is school, the readings, the teachers, how we’re not getting enough sleep, how we need coffee, how much work we have to do, how we might be failing, how expensive tuition is, etc. 

   When I get the chance to hang out and catch up with my non-law school friends, they ask me how law school is going and I just roll up into a ball and cry in their arms. Just kidding. We talk about all the people they plan to sue once I become a lawyer lol.

My life is so unorganized. Law school will take over a large chunk of your life and sometimes I feel like my chunk just leaves a ton of crumbs behind so I bought a planner and try my best to use it religiously. Being unorganized in law school is terrible because sometimes I can’t remember if I printed out the case list and if I’m sure I did, I can’t remember where I put it. 

Some people are fake and annoying. Okay, these people are actually everywhere you go, not just in law school. As a future lawyer, it’s great to great to make friends and important to make connections.

However, there will be soul-sucking, backstabbing, fake “friends” who only show up in your life to ask for help with a paper or debate preparation, copy your notes, or anything that can help them get by in law school. 

Tip: Remain civil with these types but don’t let them push you around.

College was a walk in the park. I didn’t realize it back then. When I was getting my undergrad degree, I felt like dying at some point because of the demands for the classes, and then I went to law school, which is almost ten levels harder. I’m going to stop complaining about college.

How was your first year in law school? Let me know in the comments.

x Bella

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