A Reflection on Completing Law School

The fact that I am now a law school graduate is absolutely surreal. Even though the Dean hooded me, I was handed a diploma and I got to switch my tassel, I simply do not feel like I am a Juris Doctor now.

I have been dreaming of this since I as in about 4th grade. I spend most of my life to this point working singlemindedly toward this goal. Do well in High School so you get into college, do well in college so you have a good GPA, get involved so you have a solid resume for law school applications, crush the LSAT, pick a law school, excel in law school, complete internships... graduate and become a Lawyer. After all that, I am finally here and it feels just a little bit hollow.

I know that sounds crazy; I just achieved my dream, how could I be anything but ecstatic?? Well, there is something about finishing law school that leaves me without a clear direction for the first time in my life. My whole life has been planned down to the details so that I would make it to law school. Now, my life is full of unknowns. I don't know if I will pass the bar exam or not. I do not know if I will find my dream job right away. I don't know if my husband and I will stay in Toledo or if we will move. I don't know when we should have kids. I don't know a lot of things right now... and that's okay.

As much as I struggle to not have a plan, I know that everything will eventually work out. I will pass the bar, I will find a job, I will end up with the life I have dreamed of. For those of us who are type A, planners, and mildly OCD, it is hard to go through life with unknowns. My plan for right now is to wake up every day and remind myself that I conquered my goals already and I can conquer future goals as well. I just need to take it one day at a time.

The other reason I am feeling a little hollow is that law school is over for me. As hard as it was, I loved law school. Throughout law school, I was challenged academically for the first time in my life and as hard as that was to get used to, I learned to thrive on it. I love learning new things every day and using my brain to its full capacity. Throughout law school, I made amazing friends and connections. Like any stage in life, some friends fade away and some become those you can't live without and I got a little of both during law school. But, it taught me more about myself and what to look for in friendship and I am walking away with some friends for a lifetime and that is a precious thing. Throughout law school, I was able to put the law into action through internships and clinics. This taught me that the practice of law is a noble, albeit flawed, profession that I can't wait to be a part of. Throughout law school, I found strengths within myself that I was unaware of. I realized I have a gift for public speaking and oral argument that I had never previously explored. I realized that I enjoy other subjects beyond criminal law. Throughout law school, I learned how to fail for the first time in my life and it was the most humbling and also worthwhile lesson.

I was absolutely blessed to attend a law school that felt like a family. The University of Toledo College of Law was my home for three years and I truly loved my time there. It is a place where professors start class with AC/DC, wear a helmet while teaching to show a reasonably prudent person, and dance to helps us learn contracts. It is a place where staff will update the facebook group with outcoming grades to help ease student stress. It is a place where the Dean knows everyone's names and will let you pie him in the face to raise money for charity. It is a place where the student body shuns the idea of "cut-throat" law school and instead embraces the idea that we are one big family and law school is way more fun if we get along. It is a place full of free pizza, the never empty library candy bowl and a Lexis table every week with free coffee and tea.

When I remember that I do not get to return to UT Law this fall, it just makes me sad. I will truly miss my law school, my professors, my friends and my favorite chair in the Moot Court lounge. But, to quote a famous and fitting phrase, "How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard"- Winnie the Pooh.

I could not be prouder to be an Alum of the University of Toledo College of Law and I am so thankful that I got to spend 3 amazing, challenging, empowering, difficult and enjoyable years there.

1 comment

  1. You are such an asset for Toledo Law, Brandy! Thank you endlessly for everything you have done and continue to do to be a shining star here. We love you, particularly (obviously!) in Admissions! :)