Deciding to go to law school was not a difficult decision for me. I always knew I would further my education after I received an undergrad degree and I thought that law school would open more of the doors that interested me than any other options I had after graduation. However, the application process and first semester tested my resolve.
Getting into law school was a challenging task. The challenge mostly stemmed from the LSAT, because let's face it; if you think you have the ability to get into a law school, you most certainly have the ability to fill out the applications. The LSAT was the most stressful test I had ever taken because it essentially dictated whether or not I would be accepted into a program. While I thought my score could have been better, I had worked hard as an undergrad and my grades and recommendations from professors and a boss from an internship reflected that. While I did receive my first ever rejection letters, in the end, I was accepted into one of the law schools I had chosen based solely on geography and was happy to enroll as a "1L".
My first semester was the toughest educational experience I'd ever encountered. Everyone who told me how much I would read, how difficult I'd find the workload, and how important time management skills would be, didn't lie to me. I eventually realized there is no secret or easy answer to law school.
The most difficult part of the first semester was, by far, getting adjusted to living in constant fear of getting called on in class. The Socratic method is no joke and while I told myself that the odds were I wouldn't get called on, that slim chance that I would made me brief cases like my life depended on it. Suddenly my knowledge of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the elements of a battery became more important than my nightly television rituals, which I had valued as an undergraduate.
Preparing for class made it a requirement for me to complete outlines, a necessary evil of law school, and I sacrificed to get them done ahead of time. I skipped my first homecoming at my undergraduate school and missed out on seeing a lot of friends in order to get my Civil Procedure outline started. Sitting in the library with all my materials was, aside from finals, the most depressed feeling I've ever had in law school. However, what made the sacrifice worth it was sitting in class the next week with a firm grasp around the material that had been covered so far.
The sickest part of law school is almost everyone believes with all their heart they failed their finals. The fact that your grade relies on one three-hour exam and a truly wicked law school curve contribute to this feeling. At my school, 10% of the class was going to get a D or lower. I cried and cursed the classes and, of course, the professors while I waited for my grades.
My sense of pride and accomplishment was unmatched when I realized that I hadn't failed, but had somehow succeeded in my first semester of law school. While the semester involved hard work and sacrifice, I am happy.