It’s Sunday night and I’ve officially finished my first week of law school. I’ve been worrying, reading, and thinking about this week for a long time, and it’s crazy that it has finally come and passed. To start, it was not nearly as terrifying or traumatizing as people made it out to be. I know it will only get harder going forward, but I’m happy to say that I’ve simply enjoyed myself this past week (despite the hours of reading I’ve already done).
Before going to law school, a friend told me that no one in her law school classes talked to each other for the first few months. Knowing this, I thought the hardest part about law school would be to simply meet people. Fortunately, this hasn’t been the case at all. In fact, I’ve somehow managed to befriend more people in the first week than I ever did in undergrad (when did I become socially comfortable all of a sudden?!?!?). During the informal get-togethers before the first week, orientation, and in class, I’ve met so many nice people already.
Now, just because I’ve met a lot of great people doesn’t mean I don’t feel the competitiveness in the air. It’s hard not to feel a little competitive myself. It is a sad reality that only a select number of students will get As in the class, even if everyone does amazing work and studies really hard. Despite the fact that we are all technically in competition with each other, everyone has been very welcoming and willing to help.
Classes haven’t been too shabby either. Going into the year, I was terrified of what the Socratic method (i.e. cold calling) would be like and whether my professors would be super intimidating and stern. It was hard not to think that way, considering the depictions of law school classes in movies.
So far I feel comfortable enough in my classes to volunteer, and my professors don’t seem half bad either. All my professors are young and approachable, but also expect a whole hell of a lot from us (as they should). Although I have yet to be cold called, the questions my professors have directed to my unsuspecting classmates have so far been fair and not nearly as tricky as they are in the movies. It is still a little nerve-racking knowing that my professor can pull my face out of their stack and call on me at any time (law professors have flashcards with everyone’s school ID photo on it), but I’m semi-confident that it won’t be too bad.
Even the workload hasn’t been too horrible so far. I went into the week thinking I would have so much reading that I wouldn’t have time to breathe. Although the amount of reading I’ve had to do was not as bad as I thought it would be, it has still been a lot. If you are someone who is interested in law school, but hates to do your assigned undergrad readings, keep in mind that the readings are triple that of undergrad and mandatory.
Unlike undergrad, where one class worth of reading may take an hour or less, on average it takes me 4 or more hours to prepare for each law class. One civil procedure assignment took me more than 5 hours! Although a reading assignment may only be 20 pages, it takes a long time to understand the cases, to brief the cases, and to take notes. Thankfully, majoring in political science in undergrad (and taking a good amount of political theory) gave me great stamina in reading dense and long material.
Despite law school already being a lot of work (I’ve been to the library everyday this week/weekend), I am loving the material so far. I am already starting to think about everyday life through the lens of what I’ve been learning. I’ve even started to annoy loved ones with law references!
Thanks again for reading my blog. I’m happy to say that I have not had any emotional breakdowns yet, and I hope it stays that way for a while. Here goes the second week of law school!