November 18th, 2013 at 12:30
There is a saying around law school: first year they scare you to death, second year they work you to death, and third year they bore you to death.
I can definitely say that the adage held true for me for the first and second years (although I think that first semester of my 2L year was harder work than the second semester). And I can attest to the fact that, for me, after December of my 2L year, I definitely felt as though it was all downhill from there. Classes seem easier (even if they’re not) because I now know what I need to do to succeed in classes and perform well on exams. I feel like I’m more in control of my time, and that I have more liberty in deciding when to relax and when to buckle down and study. I would not go so far as to say I’m bored in my 3L year, but it’s definitely different than the first two years, and I guess the temptation is to sort of slack off and exert the minimum required energy – to jog to the finish line.
But I don’t recommend that, and it’s not the approach I am taking. In my opinion, there is no good time to let up in law school – not if you really care about getting the most out of the experience. In fact, since the third year is a bit easier in all aspects, it’s the perfect time to really focus and sprint for the finish line. Even if you have a job lined up after graduation, there is no reason to blow off your third year. And if you don’t have a job lined up, you get two more semesters to improve your GPA and add valuable experience to your resume.
Give it your all, for three full years. That way, you can look back with pride, knowing you made the most of your law school experience. Not only will you do well academically – and be recognized for that when the end of the year and graduation comes around – but you will finish the race well. And if it’s a race you want to start, don’t you want to finish with the same energy and sense of excitement and expectation that you started with? It will make crossing the finish line that much more satisfying if you do.