To the 1L Starting Law School in a Few Days...

I know exactly how you are feeling, mostly because I was there a year ago. You're excited, you are nervous. Scratch that, you are a little terrified. Maybe a lot terrified. You are wondering if you will get your reading done on time. You are wondering if you will be cold called and if you will survive. Will you ever get the hang of briefing cases down? (The answer to all of these questions is yes.) But mostly, you are wondering if you are good enough. Good enough to be in law school. The answer to this question is yes. At times it won't feel like it, and this feeling will linger. As a 2L, I still wonder if I am good enough to be in law school. To be completely honest, I will probably feel this way in about one year and nine months sitting at graduation wondering "Did I actually do it? Who even let me in to law school in the first place?"

But yes, you can do it, and you will do it.

You will learn so much these next few months- about the law, about society, and about yourself. You will meet amazing people. You will know more about torts than you ever thought was possible. You may even have some interesting cases to tell your family about.

You will be cold called. If not, I'm extremely jealous. But whether you answer it perfectly or mess it up, no one will remember. You are the only one who cares how good of an answer you gave. Chances are, no one else is paying attention and your classmates certainly don't know you well enough to remember the one time you messed up when cold called in Contracts.

You will eat so much pizza. Maybe it won't be pizza, but to get you to go to meetings and events, your school will provide food. At mine, it was always pizza. Regardless of the food served, go to these events. Especially ones about career development, such as networking, writing a cover letter, preparing your legal resume, etc. Even if you know your resume is great now, go because legal employers are looking for something different. Take advantage of the resources your school provides.

Get involved. Find a club or two that you are passionate about and join them. Not only will you meet other 1Ls, you will meet tons of 2Ls who want to get to know you and impart all of the wisdom we THINK we have on you. Be social. Talk to people, make friends, but always remember that your class is your first professional network. You only have one chance to make a good first impression.

Do the reading and go to class. In college, you may have gotten by with doing one or the other (or maybe neither). However in law school, the material is different. The way of learning is different. Your classmates are different. And the exams are different. Doing the bare minimum is not going to be enough. Sometimes you will have to read cases two or three times to understand it. And that's ok. Get to know your professors as well. Law professors are extremely brilliant and cool people. Attend their office hours. If you have a chance to get to know them outside of office hours, do it. Not only can they help you learn, they may someday be a reference for you.

When you question if you are enough, remember your why. Why you wanted to become an attorney in the first place. Why you applied to law school. Whether you are the first in your family to graduate college, let alone go to law school, or you come from a family of lawyers, remember your why. It helped me more than I imaged it could.

You are enough. You are going to be a lawyer.

As a rising 2L, I am so excited for you. Best wishes to all starting law school for the very first time this fall. And remember, my inbox is always open, and I am more than happy to give advice, offer suggestions, or just remind you that yes, you are enough.


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