With two months left, I feel that the timing of this post is appropriate! The most important lessons you learn in law school don’t actually happen in class. Over the past three years, as life has taken both weird turns and come to a standstill under the guise of Baylor Law School, I have been collecting the “things I wish I knew before” embarking on this adventure (or misadventure?). My top six came to practical lessons, spiritual lessons, and relationship lessons.
6. Save money during undergrad.
So, you’re that kid in college who can work three jobs, run an organization, AND make killer grades with minimal effort? The one who never asks their parents for money because between your grants, scholarships, and those three jobs, you truly “have it covered?” Of course you are! Such are the type of people who a) go to law school; and b) can’t be talked out of going to law school. So since I can’t change your mind, here’s a piece of advice à SAVE ALL THAT MONEY! Don’t spend ridiculous amounts on post-breakup rehabilitation trips with your fashion-forward BFF (shout-out to Abs, here). You don’t get grants in law school, you definitely can’t work your first year, and your dad is a little less happy when his 24 year old asks for money than when you were nineteen.
One last note – you have a real job between undergrad graduation and beginning law school? Great! Minimize your social trips with the capitol friends and your raven-haired anomaly. SAVE. Unless you have a boyfriend footing the bill, of course. 😉
5. Protect your relationships.
If you are in law school and the girl from #6, then you were probably in many clubs in undergrad, complete with leadership positions. Somehow, balancing seems easier in undergrad than in law school. You cannot ignore your best friends, your partner, and your family for three years. While the support system for law students undoubtedly must be patient, you have to give some, too. And yes, that may mean you forego studying a day during finals to spend a summer day with Abby and Charlee. You also cannot forget to make and nurture good friends in law school; there are some great people here! (see photo below)
4. There will always be someone prettier and smarter than you.
Wow! What a revelation for a super Type-A gal! During our orientation week, I remember calling home and crying to my dad, “Everyone is prettier than me! Everyone is smarter than me!” These same girls I was intimidated by turned out to be some of the most precious souls on earth! (I also later learned that many of them called home, saying the exact. same. thing.) Realize that this way of life is good for you; you are more able to do #5, not take yourself too seriously, and enjoy the ride. You rejoice with one another in their achievements, cry with them in their sadness. We need a humble spirit to be effective lawyers, effective friends, effective partners. And law school definitely humbles you 😀
3. Give mercy freely.
You will need mercy, so give mercy. You will need mercy from those friends whom you ignored for long periods of time by not following Rule #5. You will need mercy when you turn a memo in with a huge, inadvertent mistake. You will need forgiveness from your law school peers. You need to, in turn, give forgiveness to others [even to the roommate], whether they ask for it or not.
2. Your worth is determined by how invaluable you are to the ones you love, not by your grades.
Another whopper for a Type-A person!
1. No matter how awesome you are, how much good you do, the only thing that saves each of us is God’s sacrifice in Jesus.
No matter whether you are #1 in your class or #165, no matter whether you have a position lined up with a Big Law firm or still searching, we all have the same ultimate end-game: the only true hope we have for contentment rests in what the promise of Jesus holds for us. And on that playing field, we’re all the same. A humbling reminder, for sure.