ORIGINALLY POSTED 9/16/09–It’s a month into the semester and I’m cautiously optimistic. I’m not yet comfortable saying that 2L year is “easy” compared to 1L, but it is different. I think it’s dangerous to think that you’ve got it all under control; to do so fosters a false sense of security and makes it oh-so-easy to start slacking. Then, like a sneaky undertow in the ocean, finals arrive and you realize that you are drowning in work that has to be done.
I did a mental check this week and feel satisfied with where I am in all my classes. There are a couple that admittedly need a bit more attention from me, but overall I’m keeping up and don’t feel that sense of panic I felt last year. I think this comes from putting some of my 1L study skills into practice early in this semester. Reading cases and picking out essential elements is easier; however, I find it’s still necessary to brief cases and outline my courses. While there’s still plenty of work, I get more done in less time.
There’s always other stuff to take up that extra time though. Lately, there’s been a lot of buzz among my classmates about how their families are coping with the time demand that law school requires. Everyone’s family is fine with law school in theory, but reality can be quite a shock. It’s not for the weak or faint-hearted. I’ve seen some of my classmates in tears because of a family blow up or sick kids and I’ve listened to their frustration as they struggle to meet so many obligations within a finite amount of time. Law school is by definition a community of over-achievers; it’s hard to find yourself in a situation where you can’t do it all yourself. Consequently, this experience, more than any other that I’ve known, requires unwavering familial support and understanding. To all my friends that have been having a rough time of things, know that “This too shall pass”—we’re all in this together. Thanks to my family for (mostly) holding down the fort.