Monday, October 25, 2010

Clubs v. Classes: the schedule tightrope of a 2L

It is said that the first year of law school scares you to death, the second works you to death, and the third bores you to death. Now that I'm close to halfway through the second year, I can testify to the truth of the first and second parts of this equation. Actually, the courses are perhaps one of the easiest parts of being a 2L. Sure, there's a lot of reading. Sure, there are exams looming on the horizon. But that's only half of it. Partly because my law resume is still looking a bit threadbare, I try to keep at least a few other balls in the air. My list of extracurriculars:

Plenty of other 2Ls have much more ambitious schedules. Quite a few even manage to find time to work for law firms part-time while they take classes. Striking a balance between classes and law-related activities is not always easy, but it's a vital part of the experience. Volunteering at a legal clinic, for example, is a great way to learn how to interview real clients. The blog keeps me informed about stuff  going on at the school and elsewhere, and the health law association offers a window into a very specialized area of law that I otherwise would not learn much about in classes. Special plug: tomorrow at noon in Room 275, the Speaker's Bureau of MHAKY (Mental Health America of Kentucky), will present the next topic in the school's Diversity Forum Series, "Severe Mental Illness, Stigma, and the Value of Treatment." The event is co-sponsored by the Diversity Committee and, you guessed it, the Student Health Law Association. And yes, there will be pizza.
I plan to write more about the law review in future posts, but in the meantime I can say that it's made me a much better writer, and contributed, at least indirectly, to landing a part-time job for next summer at a downtown law firm. The lesson in all of this, if there is one at all, is that it is never too early for prospective law students and 1Ls to think about some of the activities that they will pursue in their second and third years of school. They will help to shape your law school experience, and help you decide what you do when you finish. But choose wisely. Don't work yourself to death. 

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