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Author Topic: Advice and support...  (Read 677 times)

rain678

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Advice and support...
« on: October 30, 2010, 06:20:55 PM »
hey all-

I was hoping to get some advice or support from anyone abt my current situation.

I am a 1L in a top 30 school and so far, I ahve to say I absolutely hate law school. I am miserable, for thge last week, I have been crying every day- smtms multiple times a day. My classes are mostly ok (I find crim fascinating), but contracts abhorrently dry and extremely difficult to understand. I have never felt so dumb/inferior compared to my classmates and it's taking a toll onmy self -esteem and my happiness.

I knew what I was getting myself into in a way (its not like I went into this blind)- I graduated in 2007 and worked 3 years as a paralegal in litigation. But I never thought I would be so miserable being in law school and all this has put a serious burden on my emotional health. I started seeing a therapist 2 weeks ago bc I have been having trouble sleeping, I've been feeling really lonely and out of place, I even grind my teeth now, I'm constantly stressed, and I just can't seem to get a good grasp on things. Ultimately, I still think I want to be a lawyer, but after 3 months of this hell, I'm beginning to wonder if it is worth all the mental anguish, unhappiness and stress that is taking a toll on me now. ...

I was wondering if anyone has been in my situation or has any words of wisdom about what I should do.. everyone tells me to stick it through (everyone says the first year is the worst and that it'll get easier) but as the days go by and we get closer to finals, im finding it increasingly hard to even concentrate on staying on top of my stuff when I'm constantly mulling over this decision to go to law school. ..

thanks in advance.

bigs5068

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Re: Advice and support...
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2010, 08:51:01 PM »
Well I am just about to step out for Halloween and have a good time and I am second year student. The first semester is incredibly scary and I think everyone feels inferior confused and has no idea what to expect regarding the finals. I remember freaking out everyday from about October until my last final. My first final I was freaking out, but by my last one I really started to enjoy doing it. I remember thinking for about 2 months I was going to fail out and everything was going to fall apart and talking to a lot of my classmates they felt the same way. It is incredibly stressful especially considering you really do not know what to expect. However, once the reading assignments stop coming and you take time to go over everything you have learned it will somehow come together. It is hard to explain and when people said it will just click to me around this time last year it was of little comfort, but it will.

The first semester was incredibly stressful and once grades came out and anybody who put in a decent effort got their grades a lot of the stress went away. Second semester was stressful, but not nearly at the same level because you knew what to expect. Now I am in my second year and I look back at my old textbooks and see how much time I wasted highlighting every single line and stressing over little things I am blown away at how far I have come.

It is like anything in life it will be incredibly stressful the first time you put yourself through a challenge. The first step is always the hardest, but you can do it.  In my second year from a tier 4 and I have gotten several job offers and all that first year stress was worth it. You are in a top 30 school and the stress will probably be worth it. I am loving law school in the second year a lot of the stress goes away and you get to choose things that interest you. Well I am off to go have fun in my second year of law school first year is hell, but you can make it through just don't give up. Well good luck to you. There might be a million typos in here I didn't feel like checking so hopefully what I wrote makes some sense.

d0rk

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Re: Advice and support...
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2010, 03:29:23 PM »
Dude, I have a very similar experience to you. I've never like this before! I felt like everyone in class understands everything, and I'm the only one who doesn't. The first few weeks were hell because I didn't think I was gonna make it through.

Then I realized everyone else feels the same exact way. A lot of people I talked to also had no clue wtf was going on in class. The people that do know, the ones that answer all the questions all the time and say all the right things-- they're the outliers. They're getting the A's. So who cares let 'em. The sooner you learn this the better. Even then, the kids with the 175 LSAT may not get a good grade. From what I've seen they believe that they know better and I think this will hurt them on the exams.

Anyway, it all comes down to realizing you're not the only person who doesn't understand what the hell is going on. My suggestion is forget the other people and instead focus on yourself and talk with your friends in your group. You are NOT alone.

BikePilot

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Re: Advice and support...
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2010, 09:02:56 PM »
You are what, 1 month into school?  That's probably too early to really tell much and you shouldn't be so stressed.

That said, I think being a lawyer is probably less interesting on a day-to-day basis and more stressful than going to law school, though this probably depends a lot on what sort of law you practice and what your law school is like etc.  Law school is generally expensive, don't do it unless  you really like it and really want to be a lawyer.

I really enjoyed law school, especially 1L year, and didn't find it all that stressful.  A lot of work, yes, but nothing to get stressed out about. What's the worst that can happen?  You get a B, big deal, its not like anyone dies.
HLS 2010

bigs5068

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Re: Advice and support...
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2010, 12:33:57 AM »
Well some people can fail out and that is a lot worse than getting a B. I imagine at Harvard the  fear of failing out is not really present. If you fail out of law school it is not really an awesome investment of 30k. That is what stressed me out about law school, but I do miss the excitement of the first year.

amassherst

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Re: Advice and support...
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2010, 12:51:10 AM »
Hey, there, I'm a 1L at a top50 school and just a week ago, I was ready to drop out.  Pretty much in the same boat that you described.  I emailed one of my professors telling him that I was going to take a leave of absence.  I got a little behind and it just all came to a head.  My emotional state was not in the right place.  I'm not going to go into details, but I can say that, to some degree, I was right there with you.  I had a long talk with an older sibling that left me ready to take on the remaining six or so weeks of the semester. 

Take it one day at a time.  You still have quite a bit of time in the semester left to put in a great effort to get caught up and do reasonably well on your exams.  Talk to some more of your classmates/1L friends about the way you've been feeling.  My problem was that I kept my problems all to myself.  After I was on the verge of dropping out, I came out the next day and mentioned it to a few friends and they were quite understanding and I saw that some of them were just about at that point, too.  (Not quite where I was.  None of them e-mailed their prof apologizing for missing the last couple of classes and stating that s/he's decided to leave school in the middle of the semester)  It's re-assuring. 

Hope that helps.  Hang in there.  Slog through it.  It's slow going.  Don't worry if you don't get it 100% yet, but just make sure you do your work.  I still have to catch up because I got a little behind.  Being behind stresses you out more.  More stress leads to lesser quality and diminished sleep.  That leads to less motivation and increased feelings of insurmountability.  Then the cycle repeats itself.  You have to break the cycle.  Prepare yourself for second semester by learning from this experience.  Last week, when I was dropping out, that was my rock bottom.  I'm motivated by knowing my rock bottom is behind me.  It's all uphill from here.  You should feel the same. 

Thane Messinger

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Re: Advice and support...
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2010, 03:55:05 AM »
I am a 1L in a top 30 school and so far, I ahve to say I absolutely hate law school. I am miserable, for thge last week, I have been crying every day- smtms multiple times a day. My classes are mostly ok (I find crim fascinating), but contracts abhorrently dry and extremely difficult to understand. I have never felt so dumb/inferior compared to my classmates and it's taking a toll onmy self -esteem and my happiness.

I knew what I was getting myself into in a way (its not like I went into this blind)- I graduated in 2007 and worked 3 years as a paralegal in litigation. But I never thought I would be so miserable being in law school and all this has put a serious burden on my emotional health. I started seeing a therapist 2 weeks ago bc I have been having trouble sleeping, I've been feeling really lonely and out of place, I even grind my teeth now, I'm constantly stressed, and I just can't seem to get a good grasp on things. Ultimately, I still think I want to be a lawyer, but after 3 months of this hell, I'm beginning to wonder if it is worth all the mental anguish, unhappiness and stress that is taking a toll on me now. ...

I was wondering if anyone has been in my situation or has any words of wisdom about what I should do.. everyone tells me to stick it through (everyone says the first year is the worst and that it'll get easier) but as the days go by and we get closer to finals, im finding it increasingly hard to even concentrate on staying on top of my stuff when I'm constantly mulling over this decision to go to law school. ..


An important post and some good responses.  As to concrete help, I'll no doubt get into trouble, but there's a new, very short book that might help.  It's Law School Fast Track, by Derrick Hibbard.  It's not about shortcuts but about building good habits, and about not falling into the traps you describe.  (Disclaimer: I wrote the foreword, so I do think it's worth every law student's read.)  Also, if possible attend LEEWS; at a minimum get the audio.  That will help immensely in preparing for exams, and, not unimportantly, mental health.

You are feeling what most--if not nearly all--law students feel.  Hang in there.

Thane.