Trials & Tribulations: Advice for Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Happiness

The first day of school is a momentous occasion filled with anxiety of what to expect and excitement of starting something new. Law school was no exception.

I spent the two weeks before school started working on all of the homework assignments that had gotten emailed to me, making sure no fact or law was overlooked. God forbid I be the student who hadn’t read every line of every page assigned! The first day of my 1L year, I barely slept a wink the night before – I was too stressed out about the difficulties the next day would bring. Come morning, I tried on about 15 different outfits, trying to decide which choice of attire said “I am confident and smart, but also friendly.” I had my brand new textbooks stacked in a neat pile next to my pre-packed lunch and fully stocked backpack. I got to school an hour early, out of fear for being late to my first law school class. I sat towards the front of the classroom in Professor Church’s Torts class, with my pens and highlighters spread out and ready to go.

I thought for sure that I was prepared for whatever would be thrown my way. Boy was I wrong. After that first day of classes, I went home feeling completely defeated. I felt like no matter how hard I tried and how studiously I read the homework, I would never be as smart as some of my classmates and I would never know the “right answer” to the professor’s questions. I couldn’t even tell you what a tort was, much less how to spot one and list the elements. I thought I had made a huge mistake going to law school. No way was I smart enough to be a lawyer!

Fast forward two years, and I can spout off the 6 intentional torts in my sleep. I can describe the actus reus and mens rea of a crime in immense detail. I can get up in front of a courtroom and argue a criminal case from start to finish. While I still can’t tell you how to file for bankruptcy or how to form a valid contract, I can point you in the direction of a student who can! It took me until my 3L year to realize that no one is going to be great at every subject [except Mr. 3.9 GPA]. But I can be great at the subjects I love, and that is just fine by me.

I can skim a case in 5 minutes and still do just fine when I get called on in class. I can run into class 1 minute before starting, dressed in workout clothes, and no one will give me dirty looks. I can go to the GIFs and drink with my classmates, but I can also get together with those students I’m closest to and laugh for hours as we reminisce on the wild ride that has been law school. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that there is no “right way” to do law school [although there is definitely a wrong way]. There have been messy meltdowns, ugly crying sessions, and lots of stress-eating, but there has also been lots of love and laughter to be had between myself and my nerdy law school friends. While it was by no means easy, it has been fun. Thank you Paul M. Hebert Law School for making me #3LOL.