Transitioning from 2L to 3L year

Hello friends.

My apologies for being basically MIA for the last few weeks. I turned my Moot Court brief in on Friday and finished the Advanced Leadership Academy I was attending on weekends yesterday so I finally have some free time back to spend on the blog.

Today's post has been requested by several people so I figured I would give it a shot. Transitioning from 2L to 3L year was much easier than the transition from undergrad to 1L or from 1L to 2L. At this point, I have law school classes pretty well figured out as well as balancing classes with extracurriculars (such as Moot Court) and work. The first bit of 3L year seemed like it was going to be pretty chill and not very different from 2L year.

Oh boy was I wrong. When I was figuring my schedule and time allotments for 3L year, I did not factor in any Bar Exam preparations nor did I factor in networking events. What has 3L year been full of? Bar exam prep and networking events.

By the time you are a 3L, class preparation has become old news and you can probably whip out a case brief in your sleep. Balancing school and work is something you learn to do 2L year if you choose to go that route. So what do you need to prepare to deal with 3L year?? All the preparation for post-law school life. 3L year is pretty much a constant stream of a few concerns:

  • How can I prepare for the Bar exam?
  • What do I have to do to graduate?
  • Where will I live after school?
  • What job can I find?
  • What if I don't get a job?
  • What if I hate the job I find? 
  • How will I pay off loans?
  • What if I don't pass the bar?
  • Can I be a stay at home dog mom?
  • Do I have a backup plan? 
  • Where do I sleep during the bar exam?
  • What bar prep course should I buy?
  • How will I pay for that course?
  • Was law school a good idea?

Put those questions on loop, pile the stress of trying to figure them out on top of everything you did 2L year and you have a good idea of what 3L year feels like. On top of everything you already had on your plate during the first 2 years of law school, there is the added stress of the looming bar exam, preparations for it, networking for a job, finding a job and the pure terror of not knowing what your life will look like in 6 months. 

My advice for dealing with this transition? Stay strong and don't get soft just because you are almost done. It can be easy to get lazy as you are completing your last section of academic work in your academic career. It is appealing to use this time to slack off and live it up before you have to be a "real adult". However, if you just keep your nose to the grindstone and stay on top of everything, you will make it through 3L year less stressed and more ready for the future. Study hard, pass those last exams, prep yourself for success on the bar exam, go to the networking events and market yourself as a hireable (almost) lawyer. 

My last piece of advice? Enjoy this time. After law school, most of us will be done with school forever. We will become working adults and life will move on. 3L year is that last bit of college life.... late nights of studying with pizza, sleeping in because class got canceled, going out with friends regardless of what time you have class the next morning and spending an afternoon in a coffee shop just because you can. Enjoy it because just like most things in life, once it's gone you will wish you can go back and do it all again. 

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