That’s right. Student. Bloggers. As they say, it takes a village…
A few months ago, we began discussing the possibility of having a few students periodically blog about their experiences at W&L Law. After all, the world needs only so much application advice, and a great many of you would probably like to hear what our students have to say about our law school. Well, if you will it, it is no dream. Today we welcome two brand new student bloggers to the W&L Law blog fold. For our more math-oriented readers, this blog just got approximately 200% more interesting.
Both of our bloggers are first-year students adjusting, like so many of you will be in but a year’s time, to the myriad challenges of law school. Jessica Unger is from Bethesda, Maryland. She graduated from the University of Maryland in 2010 where she was captain of the University of Maryland Women’s Golf team. Mike Bombace grew up in Denver, CO and enjoys skiing, cycling and all of the other activities one might think of when you think of Colorado. He is also an Eagle Scout, Ultra-marathoner, and an avid SCUBA diver. Mike, seriously. That list of “hobbies” makes me tired.
I asked Mike and Jessica, now that they are now nearly two months into their 1L year, to share five things they wish they would have known about law school. This is what they said:
I am reminded of the military adage that once the battle starts every plan you made goes out the window.
I think I and most of my classmates knew what we were getting into when we decided to attend law school. Many of us even came in with specific plans. Things of course, as you will quickly find out, change. I feel for most students there are few surprises in law school. Below are five things I wish I had known better.
Sleep, eat, and do something physical. To do well you have to sleep, and it helps to eat well and to get some exercise. There are numerous studies detailing this. Pretty basic.
Don’t reinvent the wheel. I tried this in the beginning and quickly stopped. There are methods of success. There are some common truths. Listen to 2Ls, 3Ls, professors, and other staff members.
Time management is critical. The work load can be manageable. If you plan ahead, stick to a schedule and don’t sweat the small stuff you can have time to eat, sleep, and do something that is not law school-related. I, admittedly, could be better at this.
Law school is not a marathon. Whoever said this probably never ran a marathon. Law school is the preparation before a marathon. You need to be flexible, plan out a schedule, find mentors and, like any other large undertaking, have patience and relax once and awhile.
Be prepared. As an Eagle Scout and someone who loves to prepare (but somehow manages to find many more reasons not to), I cannot stress enough that old, worn, and yet more relevant than anything, word of advice: Be Prepared. So simple, and this sage counsel, if followed, will save you countless headaches.
Coffee? Yes please. I was never much of a coffee drinker before I started law school. But I am one now. And chances are, you’ll likely become one too.
Enjoy Orientation. It’s your last week of sanity. It’s really a fun, mostly relaxed time and a great chance to get to know your new classmates. Don’t worry, the workload is going to come on very quickly. And once it does, you’ll probably be wishing you had taken advantage of free time when you had it.
Vitamin D. It’s important to remember to get outside sometimes. Seems elementary, but it’s easy to forget with a heavy workload and a comfortable carrel in the library. But Lexington, VA is a ridiculously beautiful place to live, and the scenery is amazing.
Law School Football is awesome. Whether you like football or don’t, law school football is an all around fun time. After a long week of classes and reading, everyone is outside getting some much-needed sun. I mean, honestly, how often do you get to throw the football around with the faculty of your law school? Here at W&L, the answer would be every Friday of the fall semester.
Pizza is definitely on the menu. Free food is an amazing thing in law school. And we get a lot of it. Over the course of the first few weeks of school, every club and organization has a general interest meeting, and at almost every single meeting lunch or dinner is served. This is an amazing thing, but guess what is most likely on the menu: pizza! Believe it or not, it is actually possible to have to have too much pizza.