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I Challenge You . . .


By Jenn Bartick

Indiana University— Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Vice Chair, ABA Law Student Division

As we prepare to embark on a new chapter in our book of Life as a Law Student, I urge you to challenge yourself. For some, this may be chapter one and for others it may be chapter three; however our motivation should never stray depending on the year, no matter how easy it is to watch football allday on Sunday.

As a successful law student and prospective lawyer, I am told it is important to be a well-rounded individual. I am told to study harder than I play. I am told to get involved in everything and anything that may lead me to a job. I am overwhelmed, worried, confused, but most often anxious—anxious to get out of this “do everything Jenn because you’re not quite there yet.” Will I ever be there? And if so, what is there? The point of this is not to help you or myself determine what is there, but more about living out this unknown, crazy life that, as I am so often reminded by my boyfriend, “I chose to pursue.”

The truth is: I did choose this life, and so did you. As law students, there is a good chance we argue too much, laugh too little, and work more than we play. There is also a strong possibility that we manipulate situations to our advantage and find the most efficient way out of such predicaments.

This year, I urge you to challenge yourself. Take the long road, or as we recited in elementary school, “the road less traveled.” I find myself too often being told to not “reinvent the wheel,” but who am I to deny that the wheel will probably work better with more spokes or made of carbon fiber? One thing is for sure. The Law Student Division understands that our wooden wheel has begun to lose its appeal and value along our path of law schools.

This year, I challenge you to work with us to make the American Bar Association your chosen bar association. The board members cannot do it alone. Along with SBA presidents and ABA representatives, the Division challenged itself at Annual and continues to work toward ending the ban on pay for externship credit. It was fantastic to meet all of the new and fresh faces of the Law Student Division at Annual and I look forward to keeping in touch with you throughout the year and beyond.

This year, I challenge you to inspire more individuals to join the Law Student Division and make it theirs. The Division is as much mine as it is yours and your colleagues. We must rise up to the challenge to revamp the Division and make it valuable to us as upcoming 21st-century lawyers. The more individuals that we have progressing this change, the more vast and unique the Division will be for years to come.

Cheers to this chosen life and reinventing the Law Student Division’s wooden wheel!

Vol. 43 No. 3

Student Lawyer Student Lawyer magazine provides guidance on educational, career, and related issues for ABA Law Student Division members and other subscribers. It is published four times a year by the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association. Student Lawyer is available online to members of the ABA Law Student Division and to print subscribers.