They say good things come in threes, but I disagree. There can be no limit placed on the infinite amount of help one needs to make it through law school. However, if my hand were forced to categorize the general needs of a law student, I would do my best to sum this up in four. Four anchors representing the four providers of support necessary to keep one grounded. Four anchors representing the firm bolts necessary for survival. The four facilitators of access to your professional and personal needs and wants. More specifically, the four facilitators of: mental health, career help, serotonin and educational guidance. I know that the issues that come to the forefront in law school are endless, but addressing and receiving help in these areas could mean a step towards fulfillment.
So who are your four facilitators?
1. Mental Health
This facilitator is perhaps the most important of your four. If your mental health is not right, then everything else essentially falls to the wayside. It may become difficult to keep up with your school curriculum. It may become difficult to maintain personal relationships, and it may become harder and harder each day to maintain any semblance of happiness which can be extremely difficult to grab hold of in a law school environment. So if this facilitator is not yet in check, I recommend prioritizing its placement.
This facilitator can come in many forms. Whether it be: therapy, exercise, medication or a combination of all, turn to this option when you’re feeling overwhelmed and need an outlet to re-center. You can even turn to this option when you’re in a great place, and you just want to reinforce the good feelings you’re experiencing. Whatever you choose to facilitate this need, just make sure you access it frequently.
2. Career Help
From the very first day we set foot on a law school campus or even from the very first day you decided to go to law school, it’s likely that your future career served as a motivator and weighed very heavily on your mind. Therefore, it’s no surprise that you may consistently have questions about your career and a career help facilitator would do wonders in guiding you through the unknown.
I recommend having a career mentor both in law school and one currently practicing in your field of interest. Thankfully, a law school mentor has likely already been appointed to you. However, if you don’t feel like the mentor that you have in place is serving you well, don’t be afraid to switch things around and get a new one more fitting for your needs. As for your outside mentor, finding the best option will likely come through networking, but don’t let this extra step detract you. Having a mentor in the field helps to deepen and diversify your understanding of a practice area.
This facilitator is my personal favorite. By serotonin, I simply mean improving your happiness. This goal could essentially be achieved by obtaining any of the four facilitators discussed in this article, but, simply put, it could mean having a solid group of friends and family in your circle for daily replenishment. Yes, law school requires hard work but survival requires balance. Your social life is just as important, so having solid friends who you intentionally spend time with could be just the medicine to make you laugh, energized and naturally increase your mood.
I recommend having a solid group of friends in law school who truly understand the nature of exactly what you’re going through. None of these people may have the answer to your problems, but, at the very least, they can understand the nature of them and simply having that supportive ear can improve your mood.
I also recommend keeping your non law school friends and of course your family in the loop. Although they may not understand everything, this could be a blessing when you genuinely need a break from your current situation.
4. Educational Guidance
Most of your questions in law school likely stem from, “what in the world does any of your material mean?” Regardless of your class year, having good educational guidance is key to law school success. Ok so you’re probably thinking, isn’t this a bit redundant? Don’t we already have professors? While that is true and your professor can most certainly be your educational facilitator, your professor doesn’t have to be the be all end all.
Consider seeking guidance from tutors, from friends who understand the course material better than you, through prep course databases, which some students have access to all through law school or even from professors outside your course who may do a better job of breaking things down. Regardless of your need, there is a facilitator or combination of educational facilitators who can certainly be of guidance.
As you consider your four, keep in mind that these facilitators are not set in stone. Think about what issues drive the most questions or cause for concern for you specifically and delegate a facilitator to help you through. Always remember that you don’t have to go through this journey alone. Someone can and, in fact, should always have your back. So delegate before it feels too late.
Looking for some help to do your best in law school? Find out about our law school tutoring options.