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Starting law school was a daunting yet exciting experience. Not only was I starting my legal career, but I was also starting university in a new city!
There were so many mixed emotions because one hand, I was excited to be going off to university and studying for the degree I was passionate about. Still, on the other hand, I was starting university during covid.
To learn more about studying law online, read this LCN Blog: ‘Studying a course online: my reflections so far.’
My start to law school
I moved to university, ready to attend lectures, but unfortunately, that never happened in my first year. Due to covid, everything was online. I’d say I had a strange start to university, which made studying law even more daunting. But I wouldn’t say my first year of law school was a negative experience. I learned a lot during my first year through the success and failures of being a law student – which was a lot!
Learning from mistakes
Law is an intriguing yet challenging subject to study. You might fail in some modules throughout your legal academia. Don’t feel disheartened by these experiences because they create the basis for your improvements and shape you to become a great future lawyer. The failures don’t determine you; what matters is how you learn from them.
For example, if you fail an exam or don’t do as well as you’d hoped, it’s essential to acknowledge and engage with the feedback to know how to improve next time. If you have any confusion over the feedback, reach out to academics, they are there to help and offer support.
Check out the LawCareers.Net dedicated hub for first-year law students.
I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped in one of law exams, and I was uncertain about the examiner’s feedback. So, I contacted the head of the module and my academic advisor, both of them offered me further explanations and more support. It’s important to use the facilities and support at your university – that is what you’re paying for!
If you’re a first-year law student, read this LCN Blog for quality advice: ‘My advice to first year law students.’
Although I’ve faced failures and made mistakes, my experience at law school has been far from bad. My first year may not have been as expected, having the whole year online, but my second year has made up for it.
I’ve met lovely people, got involved in a society, attended my lectures and seminars in person, and had an overall better experience than last year.
You’ll meet some lovely people on your course and at university in general. I’d also recommend getting involved with a society; it’s a great way to meet people and attend great events throughout the year.
I’ll be honest, law school is tough. There’s a lot of content and it’s an essay-based subject, so make sure you enjoy reading and writing. Engaging in the course and staying focused on your studies is key, but taking breaks and enjoying yourself is just as important.
Go out with friends, go on café dates with yourself (where you could do a little work), watch your favourite shows, go to the gym, read a book, make some nice food – do anything that brings you some joy and provides a way for you to disconnect from study mode.
To find out how to have a decent study-life balance, read this LCN Blog: ‘Study-life balance as a law student.’
Although your degree is important, your health and well-being are far more important. Don’t overwork yourself, and make sure you take breaks where you can disconnect from work; otherwise, you’ll burn out (trust me, I have experienced burnout many times). If you burn out, it can be hard to get back into work again.
Another thing I’d like to emphasise is the possibility of experiencing imposter syndrome, especially when studying law. There will be times when you doubt yourself and question whether law is right for you. Remember, you got onto that law degree, so you are more than capable of exceeding in your studies. It can be challenging but try not to doubt yourself.
Remember: failures will shape you, and success is a great reward!