Law School and Social Life: Oil and Water?

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If you’ve spent the past year reveling in senioritis or spending your days off from work doing nothing but drinking and sleeping, you officially suck. You are also in for a bit of shock to your system when you have to once again balance a serious class load with any interests you may have outside of said classes (you do have those right?).

What’s a budding 1L to do? Let’s examine some of your options:

1. Make friends with your colleagues.

While it’s not my preferred course of action, it’s certainly a viable one. You’ve got a ready-made group of similarly situated people right at your disposal. They are all afraid of their workloads. They are all afraid of their professors. They are all looking for someone to hold them tenderly.

While you may not particularly care to do the latter, but you can certainly make friends with these folks and commiserate over the occasional (read: daily) whiskey or five. Most schools have a weekly gathering of socially awkward law school attendees called “Bar Review.” You get together. You eat together (sometimes). You drink together. You are merry together (hopefully).

2. Social Media.

Do you use “twitter” as a verb (the verb is “tweet” by the way)? Do you still use Myspace (it’s a porn site now right?). Time to update your interwebz-related skill set. There are few easier or more convenient means for feeling like you have a social life (when you actually don’t) than hopping on Facebook or Twitter. Most of you reading this probably have smartphones (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, etc). Thus, most of you can easily download an app for both Twitter and Facebook and access both whenever you like.

Bored in class? Tell your Facebook friends about your professor’s Ben Stein-esque monotone voice. Can’t concentrate on studying? See what the people you follow on Twitter are saying about the latest viral videos (“Whole Foods Parking Lot” anyone?). Tell them how hilarious it was in a retweet (no, I’m not kidding and yes I will keep using parentheticals).

3. Remember that grades are not the sole means by which one can define self worth.

A lot of people who go to law school jump straight from their senior year of college into their 1L year of law school. The primary means of evaluation that they have experienced for their entire lives is letter grades doled out by professors. It makes sense they would attach a healthy portion of their self-worth to their performance in school.

It is however, okay to relax a bit. I’m not advising you to slack off by any means, but don’t work yourself into a frenzy. Don’t go all Jesse Spano with stimulants and completely miss out on experiencing the delight that is hanging out with actual people. It’s okay to go out for drinks once in a while (aside from Bar Review). It’s okay to host the occasional apartment gathering. It’s okay to be a person, despite what some members of the law school community might have you believe.

Until next time, stay safe and don’t forget to enjoy the little things (like cooking for yourself).

2 Responses

  1. This is great advice. When I was a 1L I would work until I was completely burned out. The thing I couldn’t grasp back then was that you aren’t operating at peak performance in that kind of state. Forcing yourself to take time off to give your brain a rest, even when you think you can’t because you’re behind on updating your outline or some other tedious task, is vitally important in law school.

  2. clo says:

    I rather not cook for myself. I think a good way to actually spend time with people is to have a dinner party! Yum.

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