She is Talesfrom3LHell at school in the Mid-Atlantic Region, and 3L
Why did you want to go to law school?
I wanted to go to law school to help people. I always felt drawn to the legal field from a young age; my parents were divorced when I was young and had a few legal issues that still impact my life today. I wanted to genuinely help others navigate the legal field.
Do you have lawyers in your family?
No. My mom’s cousin’s husband is a paralegal, and I have a cousin who is a paralegal, but I didn’t know this when I was in the middle of applying to law school, I found out afterwards.
What did you expect from law school before you started?
I expected to spend hours sitting in an old, dusty classrooms with old, dusty professors and then spend hours upon hours of studying. I also expected to get really fat.
How has law school been different?
First of all, my law school building was built in 2009, so it’s nearly brand new. We have a lot of updated technology (projectors in each room, automatic lights, automatic light shades, etc) and the rooms are pretty comfortable. My professors, for the most part, are on the younger side. I only had one or two that were older than 60. Secondly, I don’t spend hours doing my homework. I try and get it done as soon as it’s assigned, or I skim before class. I’m over spending hours of my life trying to understand cases from the 1940’s, I’d rather use that time at an externship or at the clinic. Oh, and I’ve only gotten slightly chubby, which is better than really fat.
What do you love about law school?
I love the information I’m learning and being able to apply it to the real world at externships/summer jobs. I really like all the people I’ve met.
What do you hate about it?
The fact that I have to put 3 years of my life on hold when I decided to go to law school. I have friends who have gotten married, bought houses, had children, gotten raises, and I’m still living la vida broka. It can be really discouraging sometimes.
What type of law do you want to practice?
I want to practice in the labor and employment field.
Has law school been as much stress and work at you expected?
Simply put, yes. I’ve had a few break downs and felt like I couldn’t go on at some points. But graduating from law school and being an attorney is worth it, so I just buckle down and get my work done. Sometimes, especially during finals, I don’t have time to have the breakdown I deserve.
How have you handled the stress and work load?
It depends. Sometimes I handle it really well and it pushes me to finish my assignment/studying/whatever I need to do. Other times, I just freeze up and can’t get anything done. I’ll take a shower or go to bed because I’m so overwhelmed. When I get to that point, I call my mom and vent to her. She has no idea what law school is like, so she always assumes I’m telling the truth. Getting all of those feelings and emotions out will feel really good. On weekends, I’ll go and stay with my boyfriend. We met during law school (as my readers know) so he understands everything I’m going through and knows exactly what to stay to comfort me. Or we just lay on the couch, eat ice cream, and watch a movie.
What’s your go to way to relax?
I like to shut off my alarm, put my phone on silent, close the blinds and just lay in bed. Sometimes I’ll spend hours on twitter (@talesfrom3lhell), work on my blog (talesfrom3lhell.wordpress.com) or catch up on celebrity gossip. If I want to be active, I like yoga/pilates and occasionally running. I’ll also try and grab drinks with friends.
What has been your favorite case to read?
That’s hard. There’s one old British Crim case R. v. Dudley and Stephens, which is horrifying but I can’t forget it. Other good ones are from my employment discrimination class that were about people who were fired/demoted because of their race/sex/religion.
How do you handle the “gunners” of law school?
I try and keep a straight face, but sometimes I just have to roll my eyes. I’ll try and wait until I get home and tell somebody, usually my boyfriend or my mom, about how annoying they’ve been.
How do you take notes and organize yourself for exams?
First off, I still brief cases. I will always brief cases. I find that typing everything out in such an organized fashion helps keep the information organized in my head. I usually organize my notes by date of assignment, then I’ll try by topic. So for example, if I’m in my Employment Discrimination class and we’re talking about Religious Discrimination, I’ll try and organize all of my notes with that title in the corner, so I can quickly find what I’m looking for. For exams, I’ll organize my outline by the syllabus so all of my notes, for the most part, will be in the order of what we’ve gone over. Next, I’ll go through all of my notes and add them to the outline being sure to include key cases, holdings, and tests.
Lexis or Westlaw?
A lot of the advice to future lawyers is “don’t go to law school”. Do you think that advice is still valid today?
I do think that advice is valid today. Going to law school doesn’t guarantee a job anymore, especially one that is paid $75,000 right out of law school. I say if going to law school and becoming a lawyer is a passion, do it. Don’t go to law school if you’re just looking for putting off the real world for 3 years, that’s a horrible personal and financial decision.
What advice would you give 0Ls starting in the fall?
Be serious about it. This isn’t college 2.0, you can’t show up to class hungover because you went out on a Tuesday night. Actually do the reading, all of it, and go over the reading until you understand it. Go to office hours and get to know the professors. Don’t think you’re too good to brief once you finish your first semester. Lastly, keep in contact with your family and non-law school friends. They’ll be a breath of fresh air and you’ll be able to lean on the when times are tough.
What has been the hardest class for you so far?
It’s between my first year of legal writing and Contracts. My first LW Professor was the worst professor I’ve ever had in my entire undergrad and graduate career. My contracts professor was older than the oldest building on campus and taught us how he was taught in law school back in 1910. It was brutal. I spent a lot of time on pinterest looking at recipes during that class.
What has been your favorite class?
My favorite class was Employment Discrimination. It doesn’t help that the professor who taught it was absolutely amazing and could make the most boring class interesting.
Anything else you think is interesting or want to share.
Don’t feel like staying up until 4 AM is required. The students who do that, in my opinion, are at a disadvantage during class time and that’s why they have to stay up so late. Join clubs and get to know 2/3Ls and take their outlines if they’re offered. You don’t have to use them, but it’ll be handy if you get stuck on a subject and can read somebody else’s explanation. Lastly, always pack snacks to bring to school! You’ll never know when you’ll miss lunch or dinner because of getting so involved with work, or meeting with a group.
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