When You Need an Adult But You Are an Adult

Brittany, 26 

“I knew that I was interested in going to law school right before I graduated college. However, I wanted to make sure that law was the right path for me. Therefore, I started working in law firms after graduation. After gaining invaluable experience, I realized that if I didn’t start law school soon, I would likely never go. So I took the leap.      

“[I left] a high paying job where I was comfortable and loved the people I worked with and for. You also give up a lot of your personal life when you enter law school. I think that the demanding nature of law school definitely tests the strength of your personal relationships but the ones that I have maintained have become stronger.”

Getting back into the “swing” of things… Working a full time job, which sometimes required me to take work home, had me more prepared then I had anticipated for getting back into studying. Also, the excitement of fully understanding the work that I had been a part of for the prior 4 years gave me a little added motivation. But I think what helped me most was the anticipation of being cold called. I was terrified that I would not be prepared when I was called on so I was always sure that I was prepared as I could be. 
Biggest shock of coming back to school… Going back to being a poor student — I got used to getting a regular pay check 😉 
Greatest challenges in law school… I think my greatest challenge is learning not to compare myself too much to others in class, despite the competitive nature of law school. It is really easy to think that everyone around you is so much smarter and more prepared. Another challenge is balancing family and school. Second semester of 1L my father had some health issues and it was very hard to balance them both without feeling I was neglecting the other. But in the end everything worked out for the best. 
Greatest resources… My group of friends at school and the attorneys that I worked with at my last job. Sometimes it’s easy to underestimate the importance of having people around you that are going or have gone through the same experience. Opening up to friends about how overwhelmed I felt, and hearing that they too are overwhelmed, is comforting in a strange way. It helps make you see that you’re not alone and that everyone, even the people that seem to have it all together, are having challenges just like you. 
Law school and your personal life… During the semester, I try to see my friends at least every couple weeks, based on my workload. I also spend a lot of time at Panera doing work with a friend that is also in school. Although it isn’t the most relaxing way to spend time with a friend, it lets me see the people I love without feeling guilty about the things I’m putting off doing to be with them. Also, I think it’s important to have at least a couple nights off from work because it lets you blow off steam and de-stress. Making the most of breaks is also very important to me. 
Your Story/Advice… It’s not really a story but I think that sometimes people feel like going back to school and being on the older side of the student body is a detriment. However, I think that having real life experience, whether it be working in a law firm or anywhere else, is the biggest advantage. For me, I think coming straight from undergrad would have made law school more difficult because of the difference in study tactics and skills that are needed to complete school. So really, I think I just want to say that, although it’s always scary making sacrifices to take a new step or path in life, your past life (whatever that may be) should be extremely helpful to being successful in law school and after graduation. 

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