#The1Life: Why Spring Semester of 1L is Worse Than Fall

GUEST BLOG Makenzie Way,
1L at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

Spring semester carries it with the additional burden, and stress of the job hunt.

It seems to be a universal feeling amongst my classmates that spring semester is undoubtedly worse than the fall.

You would think spring semester would be better, after all you have one semester under your belt; you’ve established a network of mentors, friends and colleagues; and you’re (hopefully) settled into an apartment and finished unpacking your many boxes. However, for some reason the spring semester is more dreaded than the fall. And while I’m not exactly sure why that is, I do have my suspicions.

  • Spring semester carries it with the additional burden, and stress of the job hunt. Unlike fall semester where our only (law school) worries related to our doctrinal classes and passing exams, spring semester had all that plus the additional burden of job applications, interviews, and waiting for callbacks.
  • Since the job hunt is upon us, our school and seemingly every firm in the city, decides to “help” us by hosting countless networking events each and every week. Yes, many of these events include free alcohol and food! But at the same time, they eat up anywhere between three and six hours of your evening, cutting into time previously spent preparing for class.
  • You get your first set of grades in the spring semester, and trust me, no matter how well you did the waiting for grades produces enough anxiety to fill multiple helium balloons. And then even after receiving your grades your left questioning what they mean. Does the A in civil procedure secure you a summer job at firm, or does that B in contracts mean you need to look to public interest?
  • And finally, because I have to end this post somewhere, spring semester is worse because your legal practice skills professor all of a sudden decides you’re ready to independently research, master the bluebook, write a twenty-page brief, and then participate in oral debates on the subject … all while taking your regular classes and searching for a job.