Reflection: LSAT to J.D.

Motivation in law school can come and go. During 1L, motivation is often at its highest, because the grades that really matter are 1L grades. By 3L, staying motivated and keeping your head in the books can be very challenging.

But the struggle to stay motivated is not limited to law school. I’ve heard from so many lawyers over the years about burnout. Particularly for attorneys in such areas as foster care, where the suffering of your clients is a constant. I went to law school because I wanted to work in foster care, and I took what these lawyers said seriously. I know there will be times in the future when I will struggle to keep going. When the emotional weight will seem too heavy.

While I was studying for the LSAT, my motivation was at its highest. I wanted to go to law school so badly. I wanted it more than anything. So I decided to write a letter to my future self, to remind me of what it felt like to be motivated – what it felt like to want to make real change. What it felt like to want to give a voice to the voiceless.

Here are some snippets of what I wrote:

Remember the way you felt the first time your boss took you to a courthouse. You were captivated. Your breathe was taken away. The statues outside awed you. When you got back in the car, you told your boss “if you let me spend much more time in here, I won’t be able to stay away from law school.” I believe he responded “really?” not quite understanding what I had experienced. But I think he did understand. His caring was deeply inspirational to me. I don’t think I’ll ever forget his unwavering commitment to defending the voiceless. 

Remember how significant the Supreme Court Justices have been in developing your passion and understanding. Never forget Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas, Justice Kennedy, Justice Ginsberg.

Remember how you feel when it seems like people take their JD for granted.

Don’t ever forget how much you wanted this, and how hard you worked to get here.

Remember your idealism.

And your brain is your brain. Whatever its caliber, it’s ok. Keep sharpening your mind, but don’t wish you were smarter. The work that requires a more intelligent brain was meant for someone else.


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