You may have heard the saying about law school. 1L year they scare you to death. 2L year they work you to death. 3L year they bore you to death.
I agree with the first two statements, but I am definitely not bored yet and don’t foresee boredom anytime in the near future. Instead, I am excited to take advantage of all the academic and extracurricular opportunities of my final year before zeroing in on the bar exam and my first legal job.
In particular, I plan on staying busy with four activities this year (I apologize for this entry reading like a resume or personal statement. As in typical legal memos or law school classes, I feel I should establish the “Facts” of my 3L year before getting into more interesting discussion).
The first is my judicial externship—through BU Law’s Judicial Externship Program—for which I currently spend 20 hours per week interning for a Boston judge (in the interest of confidentiality I won’t mention what judge or court). Monday through Thursday, I put on a suit and tie and commute to the courthouse, where I observe legal proceedings and conduct research and writing for my judge. So far, I love the opportunity to see the inner-workings of the judicial process, to play my own small role in that process, and to get away from the Law Tower in a real-world context.
I am also about to commence my duties as a Note Editor for the American Journal of Law and Medicine, the law school’s student-run Health Law journal. My role involves mentoring a group of about five 2Ls on my journal during their year-long process of writing a “Note,” a 30-page publishable research paper on a topic in Health Law. My first assignment is to give my designated 2Ls feedback on their initially brainstormed topics. Then, once they choose their topics, I will help them develop, edit, and cite their papers throughout the year. As a former English teacher, I sought out this position because I truly enjoy supporting others in the writing process (although instead of using a red pen, I now use the digital “comment” function on Microsoft Word).
My biggest non-academic activity will be facilitating events and activities as the co-president of the Education Law Association, a student group consisting of former teachers and others interested in issues or careers related to Education Law (a nebulous term I tried to definite in a prior blog and will return to again). More than anything, my goal with this group in my 3L year is to facilitate pro bono opportunities for BU law students to work with youth (or advocate on behalf of them) in the Boston community. On a personal level, I want to recapture a bit of the inspiration and sense of purpose I felt as a teacher. On a broader level, I think our group—and hopefully at least a small group of young people—could benefit from meaningful pro bono engagement in the community.
Lastly, I plan on doing some personal reading and writing. During my 2L year, I rekindled the habit of reading for fun, and I have been doing so ever since. I recently read the first two Hunger Games books and am about to finish The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Even if I only read on the “T” (subway), I can burn through more pages now that I’m commuting to and from court four days per week. I find that the books, typically novels, provide a well-needed escape from law school and a salve for my creative muscles. For the same reason, I hope to do more creative writing this year than in my first two years, both in this blog and otherwise.