First Semester of Law School Recap


Well... I did it. I finished my first semester of Law School. I am not going to lie- it was the hardest semester of my life and it tried me in ways that I have never been tried before. I studied harder than I ever have in my life, I read more than I ever have and stuffed more knowledge into my brain than I thought was possible.



I do apologize for being MIA for the last bit- between my final memo and finals prep, blogging just got pushed way down the priority list. But, now that I am on break, I will be doing plenty of catch up posts to make up for it!!

I wanted to recap the biggest things I have learned throughout my first semester... It was a semester of learning many things- about the Law and about myself.

Studying
I definitely revamped my study habits during my first semester of Law School. I always made sure to have my reading done the night before (versus my epic procrastination in Undergrad aka read it in the 5 minutes before class). I also filled out more notecards than I likely have filled out in my entire life thus far.... I literally bought my Walmart out of pastel lined notecards. I learned that outlining is a thing and you need to do it.... and for heaven's sake, start way earlier than you think you should! (to save yourself a thanksgiving break full of nothing but outlines). Come finals time, I spent 8 hours a day in a study room with my study group and stuffed every ounce of knowledge I possibly could into my head. Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if I had studied like this in Undergrad... I am sure my grades would have been even better (and I graduated Magna Cum Laude with two degrees!).

Time Management
It seemed like I would have endless free time since Law School is the only time in my life where I have had nothing to do but school. No part time job, no sports, no clubs.... yet I was busier than ever. There is so much more to do in Law School and juggling it is a challenge. Also, juggling Law School with marriage, 2 dogs and my own house to care for made me figure out time management skills real quick.

Friendships
I heard horror stories about how nasty people can get in Law School....I realized real quick in Law School that good friends make it much much better. I was lucky to make a best friend at orientation and we stayed strong all the way through the trials of Law School. Having someone to lean on who was going through the same stuff was so relieving. My study group was just me, my law school bestie and another good friend and it was just the perfect amount. We successfully spent 8 hours a day in a library study room together for two very stressful weeks and are still friends. Super thankful for those two! Eventually, our group expanded and got even better. By finals time we had formed a little group and went to breakfast together before all of our finals (earning us the title "The Breakfast Club" from the rest of the law students). Having good friends within the Law School was something I found to be invaluable. I looked forward to going to class each day if for nothing else than to see my friends. Law School is hard but friends make it so much more doable.

My Limits
I have always been an overachiever, a perfectionist, OCD, a reacher and someone who was never pleased unless I was on top.... Settling was never in my vocabulary. Law School has changed that perception slightly- I have learned that simply doing my best and giving it all I have is enough. Even if that does not make me the best, I have accepted that it is okay. I will do my best, I will study my hardest and if I end up in the middle of the pack for my class, it will be okay. I know that I have limits: I can only memorize so many rules, I can only write out so many notecards and I can only study just so much before I have to just walk into the test and give it my all. I can't be a perfect Law Student, a perfect wife, have a spotless home, run a blog, keep up with a house and still have perfect nails and hair every day. Something had to give. Learning to accept my limitations had been a big personal development for me throughout this semester. Whatever my grades end up being... I know I did my best and that's all I can do.

Law School is hard... I knew that coming in but it still gave me a run for my money. I am so proud of myself for finishing the semester strong and now it is time for a nice break... I plan on lots of Netflix binging, reading any book that does not involve cases and spending lots of quality family time.


Enjoy your breaks everyone!!

2 comments

  1. Hi Brandy! Great post :) thanks for making it a little personal about your study group experience. Do you have any advice on law school rankings and how to choose a school?

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    1. Thank you Sarah! I suggest choosing a school strongly based on where you want to spend 3 years and based on cost- going hugely into debt is avoidable. On Rankings, I didn't worry too much about them because I knew I didn't want to end up in an elite law firm. I chose instead based on the strongest alumni base in my area and the most comfortable feel when I visited the school. I am 110% happy with my choice.

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