Greetings Admitted Students:
I wanted to take the time out to give some anecdotal information and tips that I feel allowed me to maximize my experience as a 1L.
The most important thing that I believe you can do, aside from studying hard, is to keep your eyes on the prize, remember your purpose, and what brought you to law school.
This sounds like really easy advice, but during the first year of school it is extremely difficult to see the forest for the trees.
I am not really sure what is the best method to make this happen but I believe that you can make it easier on yourself, if you make sure to take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way.
During the first year of school there will be various opportunities to network, attend lectures, and dinners etc.
Taking advantage of these things has been the number one method for me to keep my head above the philosophical waters of law school.
For instance, in the last three weeks alone, I have had the opportunity to do a spring break pro-bono trip to Kansas City working with the Death Penalty Litigation Clinic, I attended the annual Shapiro Lecture with Ken Rose who is a prominent alum and death penalty litigator, along with the dinner I was able to have an individual advising session with him provided by the Career Development Office, and because of my interests in criminal justice, I was invited to attend a dinner with Mr. Rose, several criminal law teachers, criminal law clinic teachers, students currently participating in the criminal law clinic and others.
These opportunities gave me the ability to step outside of the philosophical discussions of criminal law that happen in the classroom and instead speak about real word issues, challenges, and approaches within the actual practice of criminal law.
These experiences gave me the validation that I need(ed) to continue getting through 1L and going forward.
They showed me that law school is temporary but the work that you can do with the degree and the impact you can have can send ripples throughout the world.
Most of all these conversations showed me that people I hold in high esteem and whose careers I would like to emulate were once just like me; 1L’s searching for a way to maintain their focus on the goals that brought them here.
As i am, they once were, and as they are I shall become.
I was also recently elected VP of the Education Law Association and Regional Representative of the Black Law Students Association.
My roles in these organizations give me the chance to speak to like-minded students, and to use the organizations not only to enhance my own interests in topics such as school reform and the school to prison pipeline but to also take my passion from community service and use it to better the organization and the school, while hopefully also networking with other student run organizations.
In closing, if you take anything from what I said let it be this: Law School is hard, but the problems of the world are much more difficult, it is but one more challenge in a line of challenges that you have either already conquered or will conquer in the future.
You are coming here for a reason, and as long as you keep your eye on that prize, it will sustain you through it all.