by Jessica Unger
Editor’s Note: We know a great many of you have questions about what a typical day in the life of our law students looks like. Consequently, we asked our first-year bloggers, as they begin their second semester of law school, to describe a typical day in their lives. Jessica Unger takes on the topic below.
7:00am Wake up. I get ready for classes and walk over to the Law building around 8:00. This gives me plenty of time to take a nice, leisurely walk to the law school. I live right in the middle of town on Main Street, so my walk is only about ten minutes. Sometimes I will stop at Lexington Coffee, the local coffee shop, to grab a cup for my walk. This is one of the things I really like about living in Lexington…the charm of a small town coffee shop. Lexington Coffee even has a system where regulars can have their own mugs on the wall. I’m not there yet, but I know a few people who are pretty close…
Sometimes I do choose to drive to school, and there is ample parking for students directly outside the law building. I have never had an issue finding parking in the law school parking lots. And coming from a large undergraduate school where this was anything but true, I definitely do not take that luxury for granted.
8:00am I get to school and drop off my things at my carrel. I try to get here well before classes start so I can catch up on news and relax before doing a quick review of my reading for my first class. Law school can be pretty stressful so I like to do everything possible to cut down on that stress. And for me, that means getting places extra early so I have some down time before I start my work.
10:00am Tour! I am a Law Ambassador here at W&L, which means I work with the admissions office and give tours to prospective students. I love doing this because I know that when I was going through the admissions process, the best way I could get a true feeling of the school was by talking to current students. It’s a stressful decision, so if I can help even one person in making that decision, I want to.
10:30am Property class with Professor Jost. This is one of four classes that I am taking this semester along with legal writing and research. In case you’re wondering, the other classes are Professional Responsibility, Transnational Law and American Public Law Process.
12:00pm Lunch at the Brief Stop. The Brief Stop is the law school’s café, and they have daily lunch specials as well as everyday basics from homemade cookies and brownies to bagels and fruit. Everyone loves to congregate here around lunchtime to unwind and enjoy lunch with friends.
One of the neat things about the Brief Stop and our Honor System is that we can write IOU’s. This means if the Brief Stop is closed or if I don’t have any money with me at the moment when I want to grab a snack, I can write an IOU, take my food, and pay later on in the week. I LOVE this system.
12:30pm Back to my carrel to try to get some work done. I really am not a late-night studier, so I HAVE to be productive during the day. Everyone has wildly different study habits and their own systems that work for them. I’m definitely an early-to-rise, early-to-bed type person. So I make sure to use my free time during the day in a productive manner. This way I am not leaving difficult and complex reading for after dinner when I know I will be sleepy and less alert. Let’s put it this way: What takes me an hour to read during the day will take me much longer at night. So it’s in my best interest to do my assignments during the day!
2:30pm Professional Responsibility class with Professor Franck. Today we performed a negotiation simulation and de-briefed it. Everyone in class was paired up into attorney-client groups and given “roles” to play during the simulation. The simulation presented us with an ethical challenge, and we each had to decide how to handle it. It’s one thing to learn about being ethical, but it’s another thing entirely to actually have to make these decisions ourselves, and the negotiation was an awesome experience.
4:00pm PR is over and I slowly make my way out of class. I usually like to hang around and chat with friends for a while. After that, it’s really study time. I always mix up studying at home with studying at my carrel, but by this time I am usually ready for a change of scenery so I head home. I happen to love my apartment, and after a long day at the law building it’s nice to be able to stretch out and study at home.
7:30pm Time for dinner. Tonight I am going to Bistro on Main to have dinner with a classmate of mine. She and I were in the same small section last semester but have only one class together this semester. Bistro on Main is one of several great restaurants on Main Street. And the best part is it’s literally a fifteen second walk from my apartment. This is one of the things that I love about living in downtown Lexington. Everything is easily accessible. I have my car here, but most of the time I don’t need it. And Lexington is such a beautiful town that I find myself itching to walk around outside.
8:30pm Time to chat mindlessly on the phone with my best friend and my boyfriend, both of whom are in New York. I find it very important to keep in touch with friends and family because they know me best and they know how to keep me calm and levelheaded. Talking to them reminds me that much to my surprise sometimes, there IS life outside of law school.