10 “Firsts” In A Law Student’s Life

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There’s always a first time and this is especially true in law school.

1. First Time You’re Asked, “Why Law School? Why Do You Want to Be a Lawyer?”

It’s the first day of the class and expect that your professor will be asking this simple yet powerful question. You are required to give the reason(s) why you entered law school and why you want to become a lawyer, whether it’s your childhood dream, or your parents’ ambition for you.

2. First Court Visit.

Walking into the courtroom is an exceptional experience. Observing a legal procedure that you have been studying is a priceless memory.

3. The First Time You Look at your Professor and Realize You Like This Person.

Yes, law school is supposed to be serious especially if you have strict professors. But not all law school professors are like that or should I say, scary. There are hot and sexy lawyers in town and one day, you’ll realize you’re always excited to attend their class regardless of how difficult the subject is.

4. The First Time You Are Completely Equipped With Pens and Highlight Markers.

Ah, you can’t go to school without them. You can leave home or work without your phone but never without pens or highlight markers. Once you go to law school, you’ll learn the art of highlighting. You’ll even discover the best types of pens appropriate for exams.

5. The First Time You Spend the Whole Day or Week Digesting 20-40 Cases (or even more).

You swore you’d never write again after struggling with your college thesis, but here you are in law school, spending the whole day or entire week digesting more than 20 cases and it feels like hell. You’re lucky if your professor accepts computerized case digests but you have to avoid copying and pasting digests from the Internet. If your professor caught you, you’re dead. The bad news is if you have to write your case digests on yellow pad and that means preparing your hand and writing legibly.

6. The First Time You Realize That You’re Spending More Time in the Library Than Anywhere Else.

When you were in college, have you even spent time in the library? Yes but perhaps, for a short time only. It’s different when in law school. The library becomes your second home especially during midterms or finals. A typical day would start from waking up, preparing your things and voila, you’re ready to spend the day in the library. But as always, there’s an exception to the rule. For coffee or tea lovers, their library is a coffee shop or tea house.

7. The First Time Your Realize That You’re Standing for 30 Minutes or Almost an Hour For A Recitation. Whoa!

Recitation has never been the same since you enter law school. Your professor calls your name and asks you to recite. Five minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes later, questions after questions and you’re still standing. And even if no questions are asked and your professor starts to lecture, you’ll remain standing unless the professor says so or it’s time already.

Yes, this happens. It’s either you’re too good, you’re not giving the right answers, or your professor is just having a bad day.

8. The First Time You Get Scolded By Your Professor and Feel Humiliated.

Remember the first taste of humiliation? There was no whip, but words. Dura lex, sed lex; and law professors can be harsh, too.

Professors hate students murmuring or talking while they are discussing. Stop it or else you’ll be forced to go out of the room. They also don’t like students reading their notes (it’s not a reading class as professors say) or getting coached by their seatmates. Do this and you’ll hear words you never want to hear.

9. Your First Heartbreak.

Law school may be your first love but it may also be your first heartbreak. And it hurts, deeply hurts. You may have been getting good grades in college but that’s not a guarantee that you’ll experience the same in law school. Anything can happen in law school and this includes getting a failing grade.

You’ll cry and this heartbreak can make you think you’re the most stupid person in the world. It feels like being blown to bits by the grenade of failure and rejection. But if you’re like Augustus Walter (The Fault In Our Stars), you wouldn’t mind. It would be a privilege to have your heart broken by law school.

10. The First Time You Doubted /Questioned Your Decision of Going to Law School.

All of a sudden, you’ll be asking yourself, “Should I continue law school?” After being humiliated in front of the class and getting a failing grade, you’ll start having doubts about yourself and your decision of going to law school. Is law school a good deal after all? Is it worth your time and money? Or is it the worst career decision you’ve made? TC Mark

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