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Three things a law student should do in their last year

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Finish Line

I’m in my last year of law school, and every day it seems like an arms race to the finish line and seems like as if everything is happening at once. You’re worried about getting those final assignments done and about keeping your GPA right to graduate with honors and it seems like every which way you turn someone is trying to shove some thing else on your plate.

Well, take some advice from Santa: Make your list and check it twice.

I know it sounds dumb, like what kind of law student gives out lame Christmas advice. But that’s just the beginning to what I’m really about to impart upon you. Three things a law student should do as a 3L are: network, prioritize, and enjoy.

Cast your net and get working!

Yes, this is probably filled with a bunch of bad puns, but the point is, you should be networking your pants off. Make the time and go out and meet new people in the legal profession. You never know when that job opportunity will come along or get the chance to make a new life long friend.

Networking events grant you a great opportunity to meet people to be friends, or develop new opportunities for yourself or a friend. You might also be the very person who imparts some knowledge on someone or extends the helping hand.

Don’t be afraid to look outside of your local bar association. You’ve got us here at the ABA, with job postings, getting assistance from those who are already in the field with resumes and writing and some of the best networking events. Some of the greatest opportunities come in places you weren’t looking and you can meet the best people who share similar or different experiences all but branching out of your comfort zone.

One of the best experiences for me was attending the Annual Conference last year, I got to meet young lawyers and law students from all over. Events like those on national scales with a wide arrange of sections and divisions meeting and having CLEs that give you an opportunity to learn more about a specific area are amazing.

Prioritize

Prioritizing your work flow is essential to making sure you don’t burn out in your final days. With everything going on, you don’t want to finish before the race ends. With making sure you get your bar prep done, getting the scores you need for the MPRE, and finalizing your character and fitness, make sure to get your most pressing stuff out of the way.

And trust me, I know what it’s like when your whole semester plans go awry and you schedule doesn’t work out the way you expected it to so now you’re more cramped than you planned on being in the final semester. But even for those who managed to get the light work load in their final days, it’s still not a walk in the park. Because honestly, if law school was ever a walk in the park there would definitely be a lot more of the new attorneys and law school attendance would be at it’s all time high.

Just remember to get those deadlines out of the way before you hit that protest, cross all your t’s and dot your I’s before you submit that brief, or when you’re debating the issue of the ABA’s new accreditation standards remember why you joined law school.

Enjoy the ride

Which brings me to my final piece of advice. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. But what’s the point when all that will happen is that the cake will get moldy and go bad. You should enjoy the small things in life. Don’t let prioritizing suck the fun out of your every day life; remember it’s something you do so that you can have the real fun.

Make those networking events a social event. Use them like Elle Woods probably would have – have fun with your friends while building new relationships and show people how great you are. This is your time to shine, and you should shine bright which is easiest when your truly happy and enjoying yourself.

Like I said before, remember why you came to law school, I know I came because I wanted to help people – but why are you here? Your best growth comes with reflection and growth is a key to happiness and that is exactly what joy is. Create memorable moments in your final days. The good ones – not the kind of stuff that your professors will be using for an example for the years to come.

While we all have the rumor mills at our schools you don’t want to be the Voldermort of class. Shine bright like the diamonds law school turned us into.

This list was short, but as I said, it was only three things. Maybe you can add a thing and share it with a friend or pass it on to the next class. It’s 2017 – this is our year, and it is time to start a new senior tradition. Our tradition won’t just be to inspire greatness, it will be to live greatly by helping one another succeed in our final trying times, so that this year when we grace along those steps and we take hold of our diplomas we can say together across the nation we did.

Veni, vidi, vici – we came together, we saw and met people from different places, and we conquered the heck out of law school.

Jasmine Carnegie Jasmine S. Carnegie is the First Circuit Governor of the ABA Law Student Division and a third-year law student at the University of Massachusetts School of Law-Dartmouth. She is a lifelong Connecticut resident with a Bachelor of Arts for Criminal Justice from the University of Bridgeport. She is the current Vice President of the Criminal Law Society and treasurer of OUTLaw and the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association. She is a staunch believer in the promotion of diversity and the inclusion of all.