Friday, January 7, 2022

Law School Myth Debunked!

Before I even applied to law school or took the LSAT, the expectations I had of law school were built on television shows and movies such as How to Get Away with Murder and Legally Blonde. Now, as a 1L, we are definitely not getting away with murder and to answer Elle Woods’s question…yes, it is hard. Once I began gathering my application materials, many law students and graduates advised me to treat law school like a job. As we know, a full-time job usually entails working a 9 to 5 shift, or any other 8 hour window. Law school is NOT like a job. I guess I can say it can be, in regards to workload and work ethic but it is completely different in most aspects. Hypothetically, if I had two classes per day, and classes began at 9am, then maybe I could treat law school as a job. My schedule is not set up this way. For example, on Wednesdays my earliest class begins at 9:30am, then another class begins at 1:10pm and the last class for the day begins at 3:20pm. This means I get to school at 9am and leave at 5pm—with a 2.5 hour break somewhere in between—having mainly attended classes with little time to get a lot of class work done. Consequently, I get home at around 6pm (commuting to and from school is a job in itself) and have to squeeze in time to eat, shower, read, work on assignments, and practice self-care before 12am. Sometimes, life happens and my to-do list shifts drastically. You could assume I have 6 hours to squeeze it all in, but 6 hours fly by and I am not a machine that can work through everything without a break. Taking 30 minutes to an hour just to wind down is crucial for me. Readings themselves can take hours to complete because cases can be so dense. Research assignments take time and focus which could also take hours to complete and perfect. I could skip out on self-care to squeeze in more time for class preparation, but mental well-being is non-negotiable for me. In short, if you want treat law school like a job and this technique works for you, hooray! It is doable but I have accepted that I cannot treat law school like a job.