One semester, that is. And five more to go. I finished my last final this morning!
So, I feel like I’ve been complaining about finals a lot lately (to be fair: everyone around me has too. So at least I’m not the only one). But, yeah, now that they’re all over, I do feel a pretty large sense of accomplishment and an enormous weight off my shoulders. December has been intense. Like, super intense.
At moments like these, I also feel compelled to think about “what it all means.” What did I learn from this semester? Granted, I’m a 1L, so it’s not like I’m an expert on this law school thing yet. But, I do feel like I learned a lot over the past few months. Naturally, I feel the need to share. Here’s what I think I know so far (this is all subject to be turned on its head next semester):
- Fear is the greatest motivator. I was not the most diligent reader during undergrad. But here? I did 100% of my reading, for every single class. Gotta love those cold calls (and by “gotta love,” I clearly mean: gotta live in constant fear of those cold calls).
- On that note, law school = way more work and much more serious effort than undergrad. That seems self-evident, but it has been a complete 180 for me in terms of study habits. And by that, I mean, I actually have serious study habits now. And – nerd alert – I honestly don’t mind doing most of the work.
- Also, going back to those those cold calls…When you are cold-called, everything you know will evaporate. Seriously, you spend HOURS doing a painstaking, careful reading of the case and then you forget it all the moment a professor says your name. Or maybe that’s just me?
- Even if your professor says you can bring a laptop to class, you should not. I know that if I used mine to “take notes,” I would basically end up on Facebook 50% of the time. I have no self control. Taking notes by hand is tedious, but it works well for me.
- I entered the library stacks twice this semester and sincerely hope to never have to do so again. It’s like a dusty maze of confusion in there. Steer clear. Use the internet. (Note: my mom is a librarian, so it’s probably a form of betrayal that I even created this bullet point. Sorry, mom!)
- Having civ pro five times a week at 9am is brutal. And perhaps 3 or 4 more times a week than is necessary.
- I get what people mean when they say “thinking like a lawyer” now. After just a semester, I really do think of all kinds of random things I never did before – like, hey, that’s a tort waiting to happen! Or, what exactly is this lease I’m about to sign? Everything is a potential hypo.
- I sincerely wish undergrads were not allowed in the Law Library or in our commons. I know that sounds elitist or entitled or something, but…get out of here, punks! And, stop watching You Tube videos while “studying” in the law library. We’re so onto you.
- And finally – there will be many moments when you think you are completely stupid and you can’t do this. Take a deep breath. You’re not and you can. You lived through it and are typing this, right?
Cheers to the end of the semester and a (hopefully) very lazy and relaxing Christmas break!