Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Things I Wish I'd Known: 3L

The final countdown. 3L year is finally here for me and I can't even tell you how excited I am. I know that 3 years might not sound like a lot, especially compared to medical school (+residency) and other graduate programs, but it certainly feels like a long time. I know you know the feeling, you have been in school since you were 5 and you just want to be DONE. Your friends have "real life" jobs, they're getting married, starting a life, and you're still doing homework, but not for long! 3L year for me has already been in full swing since mid-August and let me tell you, it is not all its cracked up to be. There are already things that I wish I'd known and I'm sure by the end of this year the list below will have tripled. 

1. It's not as Easy as Everyone Says
1L year we always heard, "1L year they scare you to death, 2L year they work you to death, and 3L year they bore you to death." Now I will say that is generally true. However, do not confused "bored" with "easy." A lot of my friends, myself included, were under this assumption that 3L year would just be sooooo easy and fly by. Well, it is certainly flying by, but I feel like I am falling more and more behind as the days go by. It is important to remember you are still in classes with 2Ls, 2Ls who like you last year are working hard to undo the damage of their 1L year or maintain the coveted top spot they achieved Either way, you are not in classes with a bunch of carefree 3Ls and you need to be aware of that. This is not to say that 3L year is miserable, but just be prepared for what lies ahead.

2. Be Aware of Your Actions
This should go without saying, and really applies every year in law school (and thereafter), but especially in your 3L year. You have finally made it, the last thing you want to do is jeopardize the work you've put in the last three years. Not only that, but your classmates are soon to become colleagues. You want them to be able to recommend you to clients and friends without hesitation and that might be hard to do if all they remember about you is that keg stand you did at homecoming.

3. Get/Stay Organized
As I mentioned, 3L is not as easy as you think it is going to be. However you can make it a lot easier on yourself by staying organized. Ideally you have gotten pretty good at this by your 3L year, but it can be so important as the days come to an end. You have a lot of things going on, work, school, papers, deadlines, etc. and it is so important that you are aware of all of your commitments and deadlines.

4. Triple Check Your Graduation Requirements
Seriously. The last thing you want to do is tell your parents and friends that you aren't graduating this year because you forgot to turn in a paper, or forgot to take a perspective class, or forgot to go to a required 3L meeting. You get the point, there are a lot of things that go into graduation requirements, some easier than others, but all of them have to get done. If your school is anything like mine there are "Graduation Checklists" that list out everything you need, even your 1L classes. It is such a relief to have that piece of paper and check everything off with confidence that it is done.

5. Make Time for  Yourself
The. Most. Important. Thing. This is the last year that you are going to have the chance to really make time for yourself. Ideally we are not all going to be stuck in 80+ hour work weeks, unless thats your thing, which is cool, but my point is that when you are in law school you might think you are busy, but you have no idea. It is a lot easier to skip a class than to not show up for work. So just take some time for yourself, whatever that may be for you. Make a date with yourself to go for a run every week, or just to hang out at home and relax, whatever you prefer, just do it. It can make a world of difference just to have some time that is yours,  you can lounge, you can run, you can binge watch Gilmore Girls, just let your mind relax.

This is so bitter-sweet. As I said, it is so nice knowing that I am going to be starting a "real job" and can finally make a five-year plan without so many unknown variables. On the other hand, it is terrifying. I have no idea what the next 8 months hold for me or how I will really cope with having a full-time job that is so challenging and demanding. It is definitely going to be a new chapter and a new adventure, but I can't wait to start!

Let me know what advice you have as a recent graduate, or just for life in general post school, I'm sure it will be a benefit to us all!

Have a great day, y'all!


  1. this is such a great blog for law students! so impressed with you, girl!
    my husband was *this close* to going to law school, accepted, paid deposit, everything but it had a different opportunity come up --but i will always think of law school as connected to us since it was the plan! :)


    1. Thank you so much! That is so interesting that he was so close to going, it isn't as uncommon as you might think for people to change their minds when another opportunity comes up, at whatever stage in the law school process they might be. We've actually had two or three people in our class leave for another job because it was something they really wanted to do and it finally became available.