The Fall semester sometimes seems to go on forever, however, at the same time, somehow it is already the middle of the semester! With the hustle and bustle of law school, sometimes it is easy to get lost in the daily grind of classes, studying, and working. You are working hard and getting your stuff done, and time seems to fly right past you! That is why it is important to check in with yourself regularly to make sure you are on track and feeling good throughout the semester. So, here is a guide for a mid-semester check-in and some advice to get you through the rest of the semester.
Are You Staying On Top of Your Classes?
In law school there is A LOT to read and analyze. You have several different classes in which you are trying to learn the law, read the cases, and figure out what the heck is going on! Because of this, it is important to keep up on your reading assignments and class discussions to make sure you don’t fall behind and that you are understanding the material. If there is an area of law or topic that you are struggling with, now is a good time to go to your professor’s office hours to go over it and understand it better. So check in with yourself: have I been doing the assignments for all of my classes? Am I understanding what my professors are teaching? What, if anything, do I not understand?
How Are Your Outlines Coming Along?
The bane of many law students’ existence are outlines. These demanding but extremely helpful documents are a great way to summarize what you have learned in each of your classes. However, since there is a lot of information to synthesize, outlines can be daunting and take a long time to complete. Thus, it is important to start working on your outlines early so that you feel prepared when finals time comes around! So check in with yourself: have I been keeping up on outlining all of my classes? If not, what courses do I need to spend extra time going through?
How are You Doing Mentally?
Law school is very stressful. Unfortunately, many law students and attorneys have significant mental health issues and substance abuse problems due to the stress of the profession. Mental health is very, very important and now is a great time to make sure that you are doing okay. So check in with yourself: how is my mental health? Do I need to take a break? What can I do to make myself feel more relaxed?
1L: Do you Feel Comfortable and Transitioned?
Congratulations, you made it through the first half of your first semester of law school! You have been thrown into a lot of stress, anxiety and new experiences! The transition into law school can be difficult, however by now you should be getting a good feel for your classes and your new law school life. Also, right now it is early enough in the semester where you can make big changes to get yourself on the right track and to ensure that you are being successful in your first semester! Thus, it is good to check in with yourself: do I feel comfortable thus far? Do I feel like I am getting into the flow of things or do I feel like I am struggling to get by? What steps can I take to make sure I feel prepared for finals?
2L: How are You Doing on Your Co-Curriculars and Classes?
Your 2L year is famously considered your “work to death” year in law school. It is a year plagued with more difficult classes, co-curriculars, and work. It can be really easy to get lost in the shuffle and drop the ball on some of your other commitments or responsibilities. However, you still have plenty of time to make sure you get everything done and situated. So check in with yourself: am I staying on track for my co-curriculars and classes? Is there something that I need to do but haven’t had time yet?
3L: Have You Started Thinking About the Bar Exam and Graduation?
Your last year of law school is here! You have worked so hard to get to this point and all you want to do is relax and enjoy. Although you may have gotten senioritis already, this is the perfect time to buckle down, work hard, and finish strong. Even though this is your last year, you still need to make sure you are on track for graduation and prepared to take the bar exam. So check in with yourself: have I submitted my bar application? What deadlines do I need to make in order to ensure that I graduate on time and can take the bar exam? Have I signed up for a bar prep course or tutoring? What do I need to do to make sure I can pass my classes?
The Second Half of the Semester Will Go Great!
Although the first half of the semester is long past you, that doesn’t mean that you should feel anxious or stressed. There is still plenty of time to get on the right track and be successful. The middle of the semester sometimes feels like a breaking point for law students because you are halfway through the semester, but that also means you still have another half to go. It is easy to feel like you are struggling or burnt out. Now is the perfect time to get focused and determine what you need to do in order to be your best self. Maybe you haven’t focused on your outline enough? Perhaps you are completely lost in your Crim Pro class? Or it could be that you have had so much on your plate that you need to take a minute to breathe! Whatever it is, you can take a moment, get a game plan together and figure out the best way to be successful!
Looking for some help to do your best in law school? Find out about our law school tutoring options.