My Thoughts to Law School Tool Box’s Podcast “Why is Law School Hard?”

Quotes I liked from the Podcast
“Forewarned is Forearmed”.
“A challenge, seen the right way is just an opportunity for growth and learning”.

Is law School the hardest thing I ever done?
Academically, yes law school was challenging. The workload and personal life. I was single, no kids, did not work and lived off student loans. I did not have a television in my home the entire time. I closed down social media. Even with few distrators the experience was challenging. However, with less distactors I had more time to focus and study.

I think what hard for me was writing exams an the multiple choice questions on exams. Also, knowing what to study. In law school certain things were not tested on exams that were overhead in class on in a particular chapter. It was about studying effectively. I am the type of person that like to figure things out even if it is hard.

Law school was not stressful. I think stress comes from having to do a lot of things, a lot of responsibilities, or having to take care of other people. The school I attended was a no traditional law school, where there were commuters, paralegals, people of all ages and backgrounds from all over the world. Some students were married, had kids, and worked. I did not know how they were making it through law school. However, I do think that if you prioritize correctly law school is something that can be done successfully.

I don’t think there was a lot of depression of depression going on. However, I was aware of a counselor for mental illness that was available if students needed help. I was once told that the legal profession is very high drug and alcohol addiction and suicide rates. Prior to law school, I was a caseworker in Detroit. One of my clients was a law student or had either just finished. I remember speaking on the phone with her and she told me that you’re going to cry when you go to law school. I asked why because I really did not understand. She couldn’t explain it but I did cry in law school, a lot. I think sometimes I felt overwhelmed financially because like I said I did not work. I worked some, but had to stop. So when the checks ran out it was stressful. Other times I thought why did I come here. I had a good job and I should have stayed at home and tried to continue to get in law schools at home. However, I think everything happens for a reason. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”.

Culture
I read 1L by Scott Turrow and watched The Paper Chase film prior to law school. In ways I think law school was like The Paper Chase. I found that people who I thought were my friends really were not. After the 1L it was clear that people would do anything to get ahead in law school. I was a helpful individual, but people did not help me in law school in return. I would share notes, email outlines, etc. Law School was also very clicky and reminded me of high school.

Location
I attended law school in Charlotte, North Carolina. I think location of the school is important. I was culture shocked when I got to North Carolina and even before moving there. Things were slower. Everything seemed odd. I did not unpacked anything for months because I wanted to leave. Then I realized I was broke and already quit my job so I had to stay and moving would be difficult. I went to Michigan State University for my undergrad, which is one of the best schools in the nation. So for me to come from a big university to a law school in Charlotte where everything was micromanaged was a huge difference. However, Charlotte is a nice town and has less cold days. I enjoyed the weather and the nice people. I wanted a community like Michigan State to attend a law school, but I got a commuter. Overall, as I look back I appreciate the experience and opportunity because if it were not for this opportunity I would have remained stuck in my comfort zone. Many ask why or how did I come from Michigan to Charlotte. I reply I drove. But I know what they mean. I then say, it was an opportunity. When I was accepted I immediately quit my job and was out.

We were in a location with nothing much in the area. Then the school moved to uptown Charlotte. I did not like the move to uptown and many students did not either. We moved in some skyscraper building which had many businesses in it. It was a hassle everyday to get to school because of traffic in uptown. You had people going to work, construction, and more on a daily basis. So in addition, to law school stress there was this added stress of the commute and parking. Before we had free parking at the former location.

I think today for some when you want to go to law school you are going to take the school(s) that accept you. Law School is not easy to get in. I wanted to get started with my legal education career. I graduated undergraduate in 2010. I wanted to go to law school right away, but no one accepted me at home. Then I got used to the warmer weather and laid back feel of North Carolina and I am still here. I do not like cold weather or snow.
Mindset
You definitely have to have the right mindset for law school and any endeavor. My contracts professor use to say, “You got to believe in yourself Ms. Price”. Once I changed my mindset and decided that I was a law school boss my experience became better. I remember students would doubt themselves stating they were going to fail exams and gave up.

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