Asking for help and who to turn to when you need it

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In law school, there are many things that are new, different and challenging. From understanding the legal terminology to learning how to build an outline to persevering through the perpetual job hunt, the list can go on and on.

It’s important to recognize the difference between when you should try to power through on your own and when you should put up the white flag and ask for help. Once you realize and accept that you need some extra assistance, the next step is to determine how. Or maybe more accurately, you need to know who you can turn to for advice and support.

A trusted professor

For many students, a professor is the first source of guidance and encouragement. Your professors can provide sound advice when it comes to your classes, job hunting, future careers and navigating law school. If you don’t have a trusted professor yet, don’t worry! Start the process now to build your network. Determine if there have been professors who resonated with you, that you asked for a letter of recommendation or that specialize in an area of law that interests you. Consider reaching out to begin developing a more concrete relationship.

A Designated Mentor

A designated mentor

Some schools have a designated mentor program that pairs you with an upper-level student. Or, you may have joined your local bar association and been assigned a mentor. These connections can be a great resource for you throughout your law school experience and into your professional career. If you are involved in a mentorship program, make the time to do a weekly check-in or something that feels comfortable for you. If you don’t have a mentor, use your law school organizations, extracurriculars, internships, networking events and other forums as opportunities to start building connections.

A school administrator

Sometimes you need support as it relates to dropping a course or planning your class schedule. Your school’s registrar office will be an invaluable resource for these types of situations. If you’re in need of job search guidance, check with your career office and Dean of Student Affairs. You may also utilize your school’s resources to connect you to tutoring, counseling, housing and more.

A fellow 2L or 3L friend

Sometimes an unbiased ear is what you need. But more often than not, your support system of law school friends and classmates will be the easiest place to initiate a “plea” for help. Law school is challenging, and every student faces the various hurdles differently. Just remember that your fellow law school students will likely understand where you’re coming from and may have been in your shoes themselves. Their support can be invaluable.

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