Finding and Working with A Mentor

[ Stephanie Baldwin, 2L at the University of Arizona ]

We have all heard how important it is to have a mentor in law school and within the legal field. It seems as though our first legal mentor is a designated student who helps guide us through our 1L and beyond by providing advice, being a friendly ear to listen to our challenges, and of course, to provide outlines. Finding a mentor who is already practicing can be a bit more challenging. Here are some tips I learned this week from a diverse panel of lawyers about how to find mentors and more importantly, effectively maintain those relationships.

Finding a Mentor

The best mentor/mentee relationships grow organically through shared beliefs or interests. For this reason, one of the best ways to find a mentor is by joining and attending specialized Bar association group meetings and activities. By joining a variety of these groups, you are more likely to meet likeminded practicing attorneys. From there, you can meet a variety of people and see who you “click” with. Perhaps within the organization, they have a group that meets up for activities that you enjoy. For instance, I have discovered that within these associations, there is usually a small group that gets together for outside activities like golfing, hiking, or volunteering. The basis of your shared beliefs does not always have to be legally based; often, these relationships grow best through shared experiences.

Know What You Want and Need

One of the best takeaways I had from the panel was that it is ok, and you should have more than one mentor. The legal field is complex, and you cannot expect one person to be everything. For this reason, it is helpful to have multiple mentors. Consider where you need help and guidance, and if you recognize that someone has the trait or the ability you are looking to emulate, reach out to them. This is often easier if you have already met them through a school function or bar association meeting, but do not be shy in sending an email or reaching out on LinkedIn to ask someone to meet you for coffee or lunch. If you know what you want and why you want to meet with them, this can help you clearly articulate your request and increase the likelihood that they will accept. This meeting can help you grow the relationship. If you “click” you can ask them if they would be open to meeting again in the future, or if they would be welcoming if you reached out again. That is all it takes; you do not have to formally ask them to be your mentor, at least not at first.

Maintaining a relationship

Maintaining the Relationship

If you have met a mentor through a bar association, maintaining contact with them is fairly easy, because you are likely to see each other each month at meetings, or every other month. However, maintaining a relationship can be more difficult when you do not have an activity or meeting in common. One of the hardest things I had found is reaching out when “too” much time has passed. The panel suggested sending update emails, just to let them know how you are doing, even if you are not asking for advice. Try to communicate every six months or so at a minimum. That may seem like too long, but everyone agreed that time flies when you are a practicing attorney. The email can simply just be checking in or following up with them about how you used a piece of their advice, and how you are doing now.

Remember, It Is a Relationship

One thing the panel all agreed upon was to remember that this is a relationship.  Do not be the person who reaches out for help finding a position, and then be silent for another two years until your job search begins again. A mentorship is not always about what you want and need; it is also about the ongoing relationship that you have with the person. Sending follow up emails to provide updates, goes a long way here. Also, be direct and ask them if there is anything they would like from the relationship. Many mentors simhttps://twitter.com/the2llife?lang=enply like helping new lawyers find their way; however, ask if there is anything you can do for them. For one of my mentors, I help them with technology and navigating social media. I enjoy that I can help contribute and add value to our mentor/mentee relationship.

What tips or questions do you have about the mentor/mentee relationships? Let me know over at the @The2LLife on Instagram or Twitter!

The Law Student Enneagram

[ Mara Masters, 1L at Emory Law ]

I love personality typing systems. Of course, none of them are completely accurate or wholly encapsulating, but I find them so fascinating as mechanisms for understanding myself and other people. The Enneagram is a personality typing system based on nine central fears/desires. Each type has a wing (the number directly to the right and left of it on the circle), and a type it goes to in both stress and growth (location of integration and disintegration). It’s all very complicated, but just for fun, I’ve boiled each very complicated type down to just the law school stereotype you might see associated with each. Enjoy!

Enneagram description chart with numbers, types of personality, unity circle, centers of intelligence, law of three, law of seven and integration and disintegration.

 

Type 1: The Reformer – The Type-A One

Ones often thrive in classes that have very clear, black and white rules, but may struggle in the classes that are a little mushier. There’s a good chance you will find the ones in your life hunkered over their color-coordinated flow chart, already prepared for exams six weeks into the semester.

Type 2: The Helper

Do twos exist in law school? I feel like twos are generally too nice for law school and instead are probably off finding a more practical solution to all the world’s ailments. Twos, are you out there?

Type 3: The Achiever – The Moot Court Champion

I have to say that I love being the type that I am, but if I could trade, I would probably want to be a three. Threes seem to have this kind of innate understanding of how the legal professional world works. They always seem prepared and put-together, even when they aren’t. The rest of us are just grateful to bask in their presence.

Type 4: The Individualist – The President of NLG

There’s a good possibility that you will find the fours outside smoking a cigarette or skipping class to attend a political rally for a cause they care passionately about. Fours tend to bring emotional depth to any situation, which – let’s be honest – we law students need.

Type 5: The Investigator – The Research Assistant

Type fives are probably the ones who check out library books unrelated to any of their classes and spend their time obsessively researching tangential subjects. Fives might have one research assistant position, but be in talks with several other professors about the research projects they are working on. Fives probably love the law, even though the fact that they never do their class reading may make it seem like they don’t.

Type 6: The Loyalist – the Law School Mom

I think sixes are one of the most diverse and most misunderstood types. Literature about them tends to present them as the fearful, anxious ones, always on the lookout for danger. This is certainly true of some of them, but my two closest friends are sixes and they are the best problem-solvers I know. They are experts at cause and effect, which is not only great for those issue spotter exam questions, but also great for people like me who are trying to learn boundaries and not heap too much on my plate.

Type 7: The Enthusiast – the SBA Social Chair

Sevens tend to be the most extraverted and fun people. They are driven by that desire to see and do everything, and generally want to have fun. This doesn’t mean the sevens aren’t also brilliant, though. They may spend their free time organizing the Barrister’s Ball open bar, but chances are they mastered the rule against perpetuities during an unrelated game of backgammon.

Type 8: The Challenger – The Natural Litigator

The challenger may have come to class straight from the gym, sat down in their chair, and then proceeded to correct or clarify a comment or error made by the professor. Challengers are confident, articulate, and persuasive. Eights are natural defenders, always looking out for injustice and fighting for the underdog. I am so grateful for eights because they are often the ones who spot a mistake in the syllabus and email the professor about it. I have had many eight friends who have gotten deadlines extended and classes canceled.

Type 9: The Peacemaker – The Secretly Smart One

Nines generally don’t want to rock the boat, so chances are, they have been studying alone on the silent floor of the library every day, and then quietly score in the top 10%. The thing about nines that is so amazing though, is that they would never tell you that, because they want to build you up rather than risk making you feel bad about yourself. Nines are excellent mediators and transactional attorneys, but any team that has a nine is lucky to have them.

If you are curious, there are definitely tests out there, but they are often not comprehensive enough to be super accurate. I think reading the type descriptions tends to be more productive. If none of them resonate, the relationship descriptions here are also super helpful.

Are you into personality types? Myers-Briggs? Reach out on Twitter and Instagram @the1lLife and let me know what your types are!

Engagements and Law School: Do They Mix?

Engagements and Law School

[ Makenzie Way, 3L at the University of Pennsylvania ]

My law school best friend just got engaged (woohoo) and it got me thinking about what it must be like to be engaged as a law student – seems like it would be stressful, no?

Thankfully for us, engagements seem to have been a popular trend at my law school and within my soon-to-be firm, so I asked around to get the inside scoop for any of you contemplating a law school engagement. Here were the top five takeaways:

1. Never say never. Many people enter law school single, or in a relationship and swear they won’t get engaged or married until they are at least a few years into practice, and that makes sense. But, if you find the right person and you are emotionally ready to take that next step, try not to let the fact that you’re a law student stop you from being happy.

2. Be open and upfront. While you shouldn’t avoid getting engaged simply because you’re a law student, if you end up in a serious relationship during law school (or really at any point in your life), you should be straightforward about your ideal timeline so your partner knows your expectations – this is especially important when your partner is not and has never been, a grad student.

3. Set realistic timelines. Law school is busy; studying for the bar is busy, and your first few years working are insane. Therefore, you should expect your engagement to last a bit longer than the typical engagement, or be prepared to shell out some money to hire a professional planner.

4. Get help! It’s tough trying to do everything on your own when you’re saddled with so much work already. Hiring a professional wedding planner is a godsend, but family and friends can also be useful resources when money is tight!

5. Don’t cut your friends. Getting engaged in law school can be exciting and you may have a tendency to dive headfirst into all things wedding related, but try not to let this separate you from your law school crew. It’s still important for you to engage in legal networking, make friends, and be active on campus.

The consensus amongst those I talked to is that getting engaged (or married) in law school, contrary to what some believe, really isn’t that big of a deal. Like any working professional or student, you’ll need to maintain a balance to ensure you stay on track, but otherwise, everyone seemed to agree that they wouldn’t have wanted to wait – even those who swore they wouldn’t get engaged until 2-3 years into practice.

Spring Cleaning – 2L Edition

2L Spring Cleaning

[ Stephanie Baldwin, 2L at the University of Arizona ]

It’s hard to believe that spring break is almost here and along with it midterms, pressing journal or law review note due dates, externship deadlines that add to the pressure, and so much more. We have a lot on our plates, and spring break is a great time to check in on ourselves and looming deadlines. Here are some “spring cleaning” tips to get yourself organized and prepared for the rest of the semester.

First, how are you?

Seriously, take some time for yourself and check-in. At the beginning of my 1L, I talked about often said summary of law school, which included the statement “in 2L they work you to death,” which so far has rung true. Most 2Ls I know are feeling overwhelmed, so permit yourself to relax during spring break. We have all written some great blogs on self-care, so check those out if you need some ideas. For many of us, it is important to remember that this is the last break we have before starting our summer associate or clerkship positions. If you don’t take a moment now to really relax, your next break might not be until early August!

Next, double-check deadlines

Sure, we have our class assignments, but also check in on deadlines for your note or substantial paper, when you need to sign up for the MPRE, editorial board election applications, moot court, and if your graduating early, those deadlines too. Whew, that’s a lot, but they’re all things to be aware of and taking a moment now will benefit you in the long run.  

Finally, check in on graduation requirements.

I wrote an entire blog on this at the beginning of the year, but now is the perfect time to go to your registrar’s office to make sure you’re on track for graduation. If you do this now, you’ll avoid the rush of all of the other 2Ls seeking guidance as we get closer to registering for our fall classes. One of my friends recently found out they can graduate in December, while another just discovered they haven’t fulfilled six required credits yet, so they’ll have to take those unexpected classes during their 3L. Checking in now can bring peace of mind and allow you to have one less thing to do in the future.

What “spring cleaning” tips do you have to share? Let me know over at the @The2LLife on Instagram and Twitter!

Affirmations for Law Students

Affirmations for Law Students

[ Mara Masters, 1L at Emory Law ]

When I first started law school, one of the things that surprised me the most was how pervasive negative self-talk is in the law student community. As my own insecurities and imposter syndrome grew, my self-talk grew more and more negative as well. The more negative my self-talk got, the more I believed it.  What’s worse is that because I was a high-achieving perfectionist, in a culture full of other high-achieving perfectionists, I began to view my negative self-talk as some sort of badge of honor or mark of my ascension into the profession.

It wasn’t until after some of the things I told myself solidified to the point that I believed them unquestioningly that I realized how detrimental my self-talk patterns had become. Let me tell you, working yourself out of those negative patterns is much more difficult than working yourself into those negative patterns.

Studies have shown that talking out loud to yourself in the third person is one of the most effective ways to change your thought patterns. In my personal experience, this has proven to be true. It helps me to think about what I would say to my best friend if she was feeling the same way I am feeling and then say that to myself.

Here is a case study:

Today, as I am writing this, the number of things on my to-do list is so large that I am genuinely convinced that it is not possible to get them all done. As I have gotten more stressed about it, my self-talk has moved from “I am overwhelmed,” to “there is no way I can do all of this,” to “maybe I’m not cut out for law school or the legal profession, so I should just quit,” to “maybe I should also just quit life and go live in a cave because clearly there I wouldn’t fail at everything.” (It gets dark real quick).

If someone came to me and said those same things, my response would immediately, without hesitation be: “What. Look at everything you have accomplished. (List of accomplishments ranging from remembering to floss to making it through a semester of law school, etc.). You are kind and intelligent. You are very capable. Your feelings of failure are partially your insecurity and partially a result of a system that attracts and enables high-achieving perfectionists. Remember why you are here doing this thing that is really difficult and remind yourself that you are capable of doing it.” This is a verbatim quote from a conversation I had literally minutes ago.

As proof that I am still learning and working on this, here is also a screenshot of another conversation I had literally minutes ago.

The really difficult step here is taking those affirmations and saying them to yourself. It feels awkward and maybe egotistical at first, but as studies show, it changes the way you interact with yourself.

If you’re not sure where to start with the positive self-talk, here’s a list of affirmations I am trying to adopt for myself:

  1. You should feel good about your skills and abilities. (Or, if you need something more basic: You have many skills and abilities. Then list your skills and abilities. Out loud. To yourself. Or, better yet, write them down in the front of your planner and refer back to them frequently.)
  2. You are smart. (If I am saying this to other people, I generally say “you are brilliant,” or “you are a genius,” but I haven’t gotten to the point where I feel capable of saying that to myself yet.)
  3. You are capable of succeeding. You are capable of getting a job. You are capable of finishing the things on your list. You are capable of being happy. (You are capable of saying these things to yourself and believing them.)
  4. You are learning. (This one is especially helpful if I feel like I am failing at everything. You are learning what to prioritize. You are learning how to be in this community. You are learning the language of the law. You are learning how to be a leader. You are learning how to have boundaries.)
  5. You are not defined by the things you perceive as failures. You are not defined by standards of perfectionism.
  6. You are doing very difficult things and not being crushed by them.

Reach out on Twitter and Instagram @the1lLife and let me know if you have any go-to positive affirmations!

Law School Bucket List

[ Makenzie Way, 3L at the University of Pennsylvania ]

Our time as law students is coming to an end and it’s making me strangely sentimental.

Entering as a 1L I had no idea what to expect (I was first generation after all). For the past three years, I have not only learned what law school entails and to survive and thrive in this odd environment, but I’ve also learned that being a law student is more than just your classes and job prospects – it’s the friends you make, the clubs you join, the events you attend, and the memories you make.

If you’re a 3L like me, then take advantage of your last few months and check off any remaining law school bucket list items you may have. If you’re a 1L, 2L, or newly admitted student, start making your list now! Three years really fly by fast.

  1. Participate in the majority of your orientation activities to solidify a friend group early
  2. Survive 1L
  3. Get at least one A
  4. Make a best friend for life
  5. Attend bar review, actually, attend multiple
  6. Share a meal or a coffee with a professor you idolize
  7. Absolutely crush a cold call and live off the ensuing high for hours
  8. Go all out with your Halloween costume at least once
  9. Attend a networking event (even if it is just for the food)
  10. Do the writing competition
  11. Nail an oral argument
  12. Pre-game for an event with your section
  13. Join your school’s intramural sports team (i.e. bowling)
  14. Survive attending your first class unprepared (it’ll happen eventually)
  15. Make friends with someone outside of your section and outside of your year
  16. Do a pro bono project that honestly makes you excited to become a lawyer
  17. Get your dream job (or just a job)
  18. Take a road-trip with your law school friends
  19. Participate in a school-organized spring break trip
  20. Get all the free stuff with your Lexis points
  21. Watch a local sports game live
  22. Pull an all-nighter preparing for class or for a final
  23. Find a suit that fits you perfectly
  24. Purchase apparel with your school logo on it (and wear it proudly)
  25. Join at least one student organization (apply to be on the board if you have time)
  26. Attend Trivia night with your friends
  27. Ditch the books for the night and go out dancing instead
  28. Spend a week wearing something other than leggings or hoodies around campus

But most importantly, make the most of your time as a law student!

What’s in my backpack 2L Edition

[ Stephanie Baldwin, 2L at the University of Arizona ]

When I was a 1L, I originally had this big backpack that I took everywhere, but then I started making better use of my locker and downsized the backpack. As a 2L, with fewer hardcover law books, I relied on my locker less and became more organized about what I had in my backpack. This was important because I often had to switch between my backpack and a professional bag for interviews, networking events and work. Plus, I was often running from school to the courthouse and back to attend an event in a single day without being able to go back to my apartment or even my locker.

This is how I stay organized and can move from a backpack to a professional bag to a clutch with ease.

My Backpack

Yep, it’s a knockoff, but I love it! It is small but mighty. It actually holds a ton of stuff without being too bulky. Yep, all of that stuff fits in the backpack! It has small interior pockets, which I use to store an extra car key, my earbuds, a power bank, a phone charger, an extra credit card and a little bit of cash. The backpack also is divided and has a protective sleeve for my laptop and then room in the front for my books, ballet flats, computer charger, wallet and my ipsy bags.  Why do I carry ballet flats? Well, since I am in Arizona, I wear flip flops all of the time. Having these flats with me allows me to look more professional in an instant, and they take up barely any room at all.

Organized by Ipsy

While I have never been a fan of makeup, I knew that I would need to enhance my makeup routine once I began working in the legal field. I still take a minimalist approach to my makeup, but before I started law school, I decided to spoil myself with an ipsy subscription. In case you are not familiar with ipsy, it is a subscription service where you get adorable makeup bags, as well as sample sizes of various types of makeup. The sizes are perfect for me, and it’s a fun way to try new looks. While all the makeup I get might be sitting in a box, the bags are how I stay organized. Actually, I am pretty sure at this point that I maintain my subscription just for the bags!

I currently have three different bags that I use to stay organized. One where I keep all of my pens, earplugs, a mouse, and post its. Another holds my makeup, and one holds travel-sized essentials, like wrinkle releaser. Plus, every one of these bags has 2-3 hair ties in it. I love that I can just grab these and easily throw them from one bag to the next and know I always have everything I need with me. Plus, one of them converts easily into a clutch. This allows me to easily leave my backpack behind and still take essentials with me.

File Folders for Books and Handouts

For some reason, the majority of my books this year are softbacks. We were also getting a ton of handouts, so I started organizing my books, notes and handouts in these file folders instead of binder this year. It actually makes it super simple to ensure I have everything I need for class, plus it keeps the books from getting ruined.

I know its rather simple, but this system has been a lifesaver as I run around during 2L! What’s in your backpack? Let me know over at the @The2LLife on Instagram and Twitter!

Twenty Questions to ask in a Summer Job Interview

Summer Job Interview

[ Mara Masters, 1L at Emory Law ]

So you got the interview for your dream summer position.

Congrats! I’m sure you have spent eons preparing your answers to questions your interviewer may ask, but don’t forget that asking your interviewer good questions not only demonstrates your initiative and preparedness, but gives you more insight into whether you would be a good fit for the organization. Not sure what you don’t know? Here are 20 possible questions to ask:

  1. What makes someone successful in this role?
  2. What does performance feedback look like? In other words, how will I know how I am doing?
  3. Tell me about the firm/practice group/organization culture.
  4. Will this position give me the opportunity to build a writing sample?
  5. If your organization is interested, when should I expect to hear back?
  6. Could you tell me more about the areas of specialization?
  7. Would I work in one practice area or rotate through different practice areas?
  8. Does this organization allow for split summer employment?
  9. How do you enjoy your work overall?
  10. Does your summer program have a mentorship system?
  11. What kinds of clients and cases does this organization see?
  12. How does this organization interact with other organizations that support similar clients or do similar work? (Particularly for Public Interest orgs.)
  13. How does the current political/social/economic climate impact the organization’s work?
  14. What does a typical workday/ workweek look like for summer interns?
  15. What is the organization’s history of hiring summer interns into permanent positions?
  16. Can you share about women and minorities in the firm’s leadership structure?
  17. Do you see any changes on the horizon for the organization?
  18. How much client contact do summer interns typically have?
  19. What made you interested in this practice area?
  20. Do you have a business card I could take? (So you can follow up with a thank you note)

Make sure you have thoroughly researched the organization before you decide which questions to ask. You wouldn’t want to ask a boutique firm that only deals with immigration if you would have the opportunity to rotate through different practice areas.

If you have any questions that have killed in interviews, I’d love to know them! Reach out on Instagram and Twitter @the1lLife. Happy interviewing!

BENEFITS OF LL.M. STUDENTS PREPARING EARLY FOR THE U.S. BAR EXAM

[ By Juliana Del Pesco, BARBRI International Legal Manager, Americas ]

The one thing I wish I had done differently, as an LL.M student, in my preparation for the United States Bar Exam is to have given myself more time. This is a common admission I have heard from other former LL.M. students as well. Time is such an important factor in taking on an exam of this scope, and it is something that can be greatly underestimated.

When I sat the Pennsylvania State Bar Exam in February 2019 as an LL.M. graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, I was ready to internationalize my career by becoming dual-qualified in the U.S. The preparation was intense, and very different from my earlier experience of learning civil law in my home jurisdiction of Brazil.

As a full-time working LL.M. student, I had to come up with a schedule on my own before my course started to ensure I’d have time to study all the subjects. I also had to be extremely organized to work and prepare for the bar exam at the same time. I have no doubt that an extended prep program would have helped me to alleviate some pressure while preparing.

The good news is BARBRI offers options for foreign-trained attorneys to start preparation extra early for the U.S. Bar Exam. With BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Preparation courses, you can begin your studies now and be ready to sit the July 2020 examination with the 6-month course. A typical student in the 6-month Extended U.S. Bar Prep course will study 20-30 hours per week.

If you need more time to devote to your studies due to other work and life commitments, the BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Prep course offers the support and flexibility you need. Study 100% online or attend one of the blended classroom locations around the world. Choose the 10-month course and complete 10-15 hours of study per week. You know what’s right for your situation and goals.

Whatever you do, make the decision to prepare early with BARBRI. It will make a difference. Here’s why:

MORE TIME TO DEEP-DIVE INTO UNFAMILIAR TOPICS

As soon as you enroll in one of the BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Prep courses, you have access to the on-demand Foundations in U.S. Law pre-course module. This allows you to extend the amount of time you have to learn the concepts and get familiarized with the structure of the bar exam. Foundations in U.S. Law begins with an overview of the U.S. legal system and focuses on exam techniques that international students often find difficult to master. You can connect earlier with subjects that you may not encounter during your LL.M. studies and start to work on the foundational skills you will need to master the core course.

If you are a non-U.S. law graduate still learning the English language, you may welcome the English subtitles that BARBRI offers in its course modules as well. It’s another way BARBRI designs the course to help you effectively prepare for and pass the bar exam.

The BARBRI PSP

FLEXIBILITY TO STUDY ON YOUR TERMS

BARBRI understands you are busy taking classes, getting to know the city you are in, and perhaps even looking for a job while you learn. That’s why the BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Prep course is designed to be flexible to allow you to study for the bar while staying on top of your other commitments. Yes, it is possible to coordinate earning your LL.M. degree with preparing for the U.S. Bar Exam.

Look at it this way, if you choose to take the extended course you will still have plenty of time to catch up on your bar prep after graduation. And because a large chunk of the work will have been done already, your study schedule won’t be so intense. You will have more time to focus on practicing essays, multiple-choice questions and performance tests, and to do reviews.

1:1 PERSONAL SUPPORT

All students enrolled in a BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Preparation course receive guidance through the Foreign Evaluation of Credentials and bar exam application process as needed. You are also assigned a personal mentor who is a U.S. qualified attorney with bar exam coaching and teaching experience. Your mentor is with you throughout your bar exam preparation to schedule one-on-one, bi-weekly check-ins or meetings to see how you are progressing with your studies. He/she will conduct livestream workshops, provide tips, and help you with any problem areas including customizing your course to better fit your schedule if necessary.

EXCELLENT PASS RATES

BARBRI provided me with all of the materials and techniques I needed to pass the bar exam. I found the Personal Study Plan to be particularly helpful because it adapted according to my progress and, therefore, ensured that I also spent adequate time on my weaker areas.

This methodology speaks for itself. Of those students who completed 80% of the BARBRI Extended U.S. Bar Prep course, 74% passed a U.S. State Bar examination. It’s worth noting that the official pass rate for foreign-trained attorneys who take the New York Bar Exam is around 43%.

For more tips, download the free BARBRI LL.M. Guide.

For effective first-year law school resources, learn about the BARBRI 1L Mastery Package.

Top 10 Breakdowns of 3L

Top 10 Breakdowns of 3L

[ Makenzie Way, 3L at the University of Pennsylvania ]

In 1L, our universities, professors, and mentors took us by the hand and gently led us through what it meant to be a law student. In 2L they pushed us out of the nest and told us to fly – and we tried! Now as 3L’s we’re all on our own, and that’s fine … or is it?

For the most part, 3L is relaxed. Job stress and grade stress are pretty much behind us and we’re simply coasting towards the finish line.  Compared to our 1L counterparts, we’re confident, some might even say cocky, about our ability to succeed in law school. Yet, we’re also majorly confused about what being a 3L means; we don’t know how to navigate these new waters and we wish there was more help available!

The relative uncertainty of our 3L responsibilities, combined with our post-law school reality leads to some pretty unique breakdowns, including:

(1) When spring semester rolls around and you finally realize you don’t have enough pro bono hours to graduate or apply for the New York bar!

(2) Being spammed with an overwhelming amount of bar course advertisements, yet still freaking out about making the right choice to ensure your success.

(3) Finally accepting that you need to finish your required senior writing requirement and/or journal comment because you procrastinated in 2L.

Navigating the Board of Law Examiners Pennsylvania

(4) Navigating the bar exam registration and all its complexity without any assistance from your university or employer, and feeling utterly lost and confused throughout.

(5) Seeing the price tag associated with bar registration and silently thanking your firm for reimbursing you while simultaneously cursing them for not reimbursing you immediately!

(6) Having a serious internal debate about where to study for the bar exam, including a cost-benefit analysis of paying rent versus living rent-free at home.

(7) Being hit with the realization that student loan payments begin before we begin receiving regular paychecks – yikes!

(8) Searching for information relating to when exactly you’re supposed to begin studying for the bar exam and ending up frustrated at the lack of concrete information/advice.

(9) Desperately trying to find suitable, yet affordable accommodations for your family for commencement weekend because your apartment simply is not big enough.

(10) Realizing you should have made graduation reservations waaaay in advance.

And finally, as a “bonus”, there’s a high likelihood that during many, or all, of these breakdown scenarios you’re also faced with the general feeling that everyone else is much better at navigating all of these 3L scenarios (when in reality, they’re just as lost as you are).