Thursday, January 27, 2022

Two (& a half) Midnight’s Gone


Hello Jury of Peers!

Today’s title is dedicated to the incomparable Stephen Sondheim who sadly left us since my last post. But, if you’re familiar with the musical, you’ll also know that the title means I’m now finished with two and half years of law school and I’m embarking on my last semester of school EVER. That feels weird to say.

Now that the wounds of fall semester have healed and the sleep schedule I kept during finals week has re-regulated, let’s reminisce shall we?

Many of you current readers probably don’t know this, but I’ve been blogging since my 1L year and I’ve always tried to be really honest about my experience as a law student even when it wasn’t pretty. So, since I’m almost done, I want to share a little anecdote with you. My 1L year, I struggled. Spring semester, I was put in Privacy Torts as my elective. Privacy Torts is a class for students who fall in the lowest 25% of their class after first semester.

I really battled my first year to get the grades I was used to. Law school studying and exam writing was so dramatically different than anything I was used to in the past that I felt I was going to be someone who never saw an A on their transcript again. Like I had peaked in college and was going to skid across the pavement all the way to law school graduation.

In privacy torts, we took a learning styles quiz and I quickly realized that I did not have the preferred learning type of someone who does well in law school. But every semester I worked a little harder, got a little better at gleaning rules from cases, became more proficient at writing exam answers, and found improved study techniques. And semester by semester, my grades started improving.

The preferred learning type in law school is a reading-writing type of learner, and I am a kinetic-visual learner. So, while most of my friends could simply read cases and take some notes, I learned I had to highlight, annotate in the book, and color-code my computer notes. In other words, I had to do a lot more work than my peers to get less-

than-equal results for a long time. But eventually I hit my stride, and was able to make law school work for me.

Finally, this past semester, I got almost all A’s. Truth be told, talking about grades in law school isn’t really done because your grades are not always an indication of how much you took away from a class due to the curve, but I wanted to share it with you because I want you to know the struggle will eventually pay off if you put in the work.

Funnily enough, I wrote my admissions essay about how I was not a typical student; if only I knew how true that would be for my law school experience too. And that idea actually ties me back in to the prompt for this post: how has law school changed me?

Law school changed a lot of things about me, but the most important thing it changed was my pain tolerance. For most of my academic career, I didn’t have to study that hard and I was a naturally gifted student. But in law school, I learned that that wasn’t enough. But through my disappointments, I realized that I could push through even when I was frustrated, or feeling insecure, or feeling like this was all a big mistake. Law school increased my ability to wait for gratification; it reduced my fear of rejection; and it improved my ability to work towards my goals even when I was tired in the day-to-day.

This is probably going to be my longest post yet, so for those who made it this far, thanks for sticking with me and I’ll see you in the next one!