It’s getting to that time of year again where all the new students are coming into law schools up and down the country, bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to embark on a new chapter of their lives. This time of year can seem daunting with all of the myths about law school which you see all over the internet, from friends, teachers etc… so here I am to give you all a few helpful pieces of advice which I think will set you all at ease about starting law school!
1. Don’t compare yourself. It’s not worth the stress.
This is probably the biggest problem most new law students find themselves struggling with early on. Wherever you end up it is always the case that there will be people who see themselves as the elite of law students and at first this may seem true. They stroll around campus talking to everyone about all this experience they have already and how they have already secured vacation schemes or mini pupillages as soon as they got to univeristy. The important thing to remember is that your goals are not linked to theirs at all, while it may seem like you aren’t doing as much as they are career wise or aren’t getting the same grades, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you need to do what they do because it works. This just isn’t true, I wish someone took me aside when I first started and told me to just focus on myself and not obsess over what other people are doing, it would have saved alot of sleepless nights and even more stress.
2. The law is competitive. But not everything needs to be a competition.
I suppose you can apply this to any wall of life but it is particularly relevant to law. By its very nature the law provokes competition between students, wether it is in job applications or mock trials, simulated negotiations or whatever it is you might be doing. The fact of the matter is that law students tend to be competitive people which is healthy , but don’t let that become the whole experience you have of law school. When it comes to application deadlines and assignments or exam revision, your peers are the most valuable resource you have, don’t feel like you have to go at it alone in the cut throat world of law, collaboration is quickly becoming one of the most valuable life skills you pick up when it comes to a career in the law. Don’t neglect the chance to help and share with eachother, it’ll help you more than you could imagine.
3. Plans are great, but give yourself space to change.
There is no feeling worse than not knowing what you want to do or where you want to be in life. That’s why most law students quickly develop strong senses of what type of they law enjoy or what career they want before they even start! Having a direction you want to go in or interests are obviosuly not a bad thing but don’t get too attached to them straight away the likihood is that you will change your mind multiple times as you experience more and more. Take me for example I started out wanting to be a corporate solicitor, and now I’m a aspiring barrister with interests in criminal and family law. Give yourself time to experience everything and then decide, it seems like there is a rush to know what you want to do but don’t let that force you into a option that doesn’t excite you!
Hopefully these little snippets of advice come in handy to everyone, you can easily apply this to any career or field of study. New starts are daunting and it seems easy to get stuck in the trappings of the field you’re in but once you adapt and relax everything slots into place!
Thanks for reading!