Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Happy 2021 everyone! Or 2020 Round 2, whichever you prefer!

I was so relieved when I finished my exams. They were particularly stressful because they were our first letter grades since Covid started. This meant that they would have a strong impact on our GPA, which is usually what pushes law firms to invite you to interview.

I’ve learned two things in prepping for exams. First, always start earlier than you think you should. Second, organization is everything. It doesn’t matter how smart you are. Law school exams cover wide swaths of material, and you need to recognize all of the individual subissues that may arise in any question. The actual explanation of a subissue is usually not complex; the difficulty comes from recognizing when a question requires the analysis. Having organized notes helps you predict what kind of issues you might encounter in particular questions, and play a huge role in academic success.

That’s how law school changed me the most. I come from a creative background. Working as an actor for five years, I wasn’t used to an orderly presentation of knowledge. I either knew something or I didn’t, and that was the end of the discussion. That kind of attitude was how I lived in general. No notes, no reminders, little structure. In my first semester, that mindset held me back. I wasn’t able to truly succeed academically until I discovered the magic of flowcharts in analyzing property law questions. Just rewriting my notes in this format helped me understand the legal analysis so much better, because I had to truly understand the material before I could organize it correctly.

Becoming more organized was helpful for my life outside of school as well. Even though the pandemic still rages, there are still things I want to accomplish. It’s easy to lose track of time and let days slip by without moving towards your goals, especially if you’re in a negative emotional space.

Keeping track of your goals and noting your victories, even small ones, does so much to help keep you moving forward. So far this year I spoke at a (virtual) poetry reading, started learning a new language (Armenian), and both interviewed for and accepted a summer associate position at Kirkland & Ellis, Am Law’s #1 ranked firm. So yeah, I GOT A JOB!

I’ll leave you there, but don’t worry. I’ll write about that experience soon enough.

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