Hello, everyone! Long time no talk. My law school journey has come to an end, and I am officially Legally Complicated, Juris Doctor. What a great thing to see and hear. If you have followed me throughout these three years of law school, you will see my name is pretty fitting. I have reflected on my journey to and through law school and everything has been… well, complicated. Who would have known “Legally Complicated” would have been such a fitting name to describe journey? Who would have known that this blog would be as big as it is now? I am thankful for all the love and support I received on this journey, it has not gone unnoticed. None of this would be possible without the support from everyone who helped me along the way. This blog is a reflection of my journey.
How does one sum up a three year complicated journey? I don’t know, but I am going to try. I know you all have seen that SpongeBob episode where he had to write down what he learned in boating school. Well, that is what I am about to do. I am about to write down what I learned in law school.
What I learned in law school is… patience. Law school really tested my patience on this journey if I am being honest. You wait for SO much. You wait to hear back about grades. Often, you will start the next semester classes without knowing your grades from the prior semester. This drove me absolutely insane! Especially since the final is worth either 100% of your grade or a significant percentage of your grade AND the grades are curved with your classmates… so you never really know how you did. So, waiting for those grades sucks. Then you wait for the MPRE (Ethical Exam) score. State specific exam scores. The bar exam scores. Waiting to hear back about internships. Constantly waiting. So, while waiting for most of these things, I have become more patient over these three years.
What I learned in law school is… adaptability to change and being alone. As some of you may know, I moved from Colorado to South Carolina to attend law school without knowing anyone or having family. Adapting to being around no familiar faces challenged me. Adapting to my family not being an hour drive away like undergrad. It was challenging. These might seem small but they have huge impacts. Especially adapting to my environment. Colorado is very different from South Carolina. This is probably what I struggled with most throughout law school.
What I learned in law school is.. Who I am and where I want to be and remain flexible. I learned a lot by moving to a completely different state on my own. I then learned a lot when I lived by myself for the first time my second-year in law school. Being alone 95-100% of the time made me notice things about myself I had not seen before. Also, helped me discover where I want to be. And well, where I also do not want to be. This experience I wouldn’t change for the world because it overall changed me for the better. I know exactly where I want my legal career to go. I know what city I want to be in. I have so much clarity. This is not to say I will not change my mind. That is right, law school also taught me how to be more flexible. You never know where life will take you or the opportunities that will arise in the future.
What I learned in law school is… different perspectives from people who share very different opinions than my own. In undergrad, I noticed that I was surrounded around people who thought similar to me. Moving to South Carolina to attend law school where people have various different walks of life… opened my eyes to other perspectives that I either have never seen or thought about.
What I learned in law school is… how to BE HUMBLE. Law school will humble you real quick. I was humble before but even more so now. The entire time you have no idea what you are doing and then you get practice questions or grades back and you are like… alright, then. I did not know as much as I thought. The grading curve is different than many other programs as well. In my own opinion, getting above a 3.0 in law school is an incredible achievement. In undergrad, everyone would say how they had 3.5-3.8+ GPAs. But in law school, it is possible but not as frequent to see. This is mostly because in law school you are graded on a curve (against your classmates) and your grade is determined on how you do in comparison to your classmates.
What I learned in law school is… who my true friends are. You always have this hope that the people you were close to before law school will remain your friends (even just in a general sense). Throughout law school, moving so far from home, I missed so much and the communications eventually stopped. I noticed that some friendships I thought would last lifetime, were only temporary. That is just life. I am thankful for the friends that stayed by my side through this journey. I truly do not know where I would be without their love and support.
What I learned in law school is… what motivates me. I have said this thousands of times, and I will say it again, KNOW THE REASON(S) WHY YOU ARE ATTENDING LAW SCHOOL. Honestly, do not do it because mom and dad/family members told you to. Do not do it because you like to “argue.” This is important, at least to me because those reasons why I attended law school is the very reason why I stayed in law school. This was a very challenging journey. During the nights I did not want to do my readings, I did not want to submit my appellate brief, I did not want to go to class, I did not want to be in South Carolina… I always looked at the reasons why I started so I can continue to keep going.
Lastly, what I learned in law school is… how to have confidence in EVERY. SINGLE. THING. I. DO even if I have to fake it! I am not going to lie. This is hard, especially for first-generation, low income, black, and people of color. This is not to say it does not happen to others outside of those mentioned, but we often have this “Imposter Syndrome,” where we do not think we are good enough for the opportunities that have been offered to us. We think it is just luck but not because we are qualified, at least how I see it. First, to whoever is reading this, YOU ARE QUALIFIED, YOU DESERVE EVERYTHING YOU HAVE, and do NOT let anyone tell you otherwise. You are here for a reason. Keep pushing. Confidence changes so much, even how people see you and your work. Turn in that work assignment with CONFIDENCE. Do oral arguments with CONFIDENCE. Take your final exams with CONFIDENCE. Go into that interview with CONFIDENCE. Submit that brief with CONFIDENCE. Okay, you get the point. Worst case, fake it until you make it. AND If that is not enough to give you confidence, go into the mirror before you have to do something, put your arms up and make yourself big. Talk yourself up. You would not be here if you were not qualified to be. Remember that.
These are a few things that law school either taught me or expanded my knowledge on. Law school was not easy, but it is also not impossible. So, you can do it, too.
Also, please please please, MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD. There is so much going on in the world right now and people need to be LOUD. This is the time to urge for changes and create history. Remember, #BlackLivesMatter.