Making it to your final year of law school is a major accomplishment. Arriving at your third year means that you’ve likely overcome the worst of your law school experience. You no longer need to experience cold sweats as you approach finals period because you already know how to tackle the beast of final exams. You no longer need to be petrified about the possibility of a cold call because, let’s face it, are cold calls even a thing during 3L year? You may also experience less fits of confusion because you’ve finally begun to understand your course material. Understandably, with less fears ahead, you may take that as a justification to let your guard down, entirely slack off and “3LOL your struggles away.” Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take the time to enjoy your third year. It’s important to take things easy during your final year as you prepare yourself for the bar exam beast ahead.
However, it’s important to not slack off at the expense of jeopardizing all your accomplishments that you worked hard to build over 1L and 2L year. Slacking off during 3L means that you could fail out of law school and miss the possibility of graduating. Slacking off means that you could lose a job offer based on your behavior and poor grades. Slacking off also means that you could jeopardize your certification of fitness for the bar.
Trust me it’s not worth it to damage everything you’ve worked for on your final leg. It’s important for you to have fun but still carefully tow the line. So where should the line be drawn? Keep reading to find out why slacking off can be detrimental and how you can 3LOL appropriately.
How Can Slacking Off Be Detrimental
By the time you make it to 3L year you may begin underestimating the risk of failing your classes. I hate to break it to you, but this is still possible. Regardless of the high GPA that you may have maintained during law school, if you skip out on your classes during 3L year, or fail to prepare for your exams, you’re at risk of failing. If you fail a class this may mean that you won’t have the adequate credits to graduate, you may lose a job offer or you may plummet the GPA that you worked hard to develop. Don’t slack off and face this possibility.
Lose Job Offer
Did you receive a job offer from your 2L summer employer? Congrats. But did you check the fine print of this offer? A post graduate job offer may sometimes be contingent upon maintaining a certain GPA. If you slack off 3L year, and fail classes, that could mean that you may lose your post graduate offer and be subject to cranking up the job search wheel once again with a lower GPA in tow. Sounds like fun? I think not.
Conduct Violations Fail Character and Fitness
Another thing to keep in mind is the character and fitness regulations of the state bar that you want to be sworn into. Becoming an attorney means that you must pass the bar and also prove that you are fit to be an attorney. Issues such as school conduct violations, alcohol related violations or criminal convictions can heavily impact whether you pass fitness. If you’ve maintained a clean record up until your 3L year, why mess this up? Slacking off makes you vulnerable to at least one of the above issues if things get out of hand. It would be unfortunate to lose your access to fitness at this stage of the game.
How to Appropriately 3LOL
Now I’m not saying that 3L year has to be all work and no play. But it’s important to not abuse the privilege you now hold in the palm of your hands and risk losing everything.
So how do you 3LOL appropriately?
- Still Stick to a Schedule – As a 3L, you now have more time on your hands, don’t abuse it. It’s so easy to get carried away with all the free time you have available, but it’s important to still schedule time to study and stick to it. The best part is that you can throw your eight-hour study days through the window. Now that you’ve mastered this law school thing, three hours of committed study may get you through your class requirements. That leaves you with a lot more time to have fun.
- Make Sure you Read the Fine Print of your Job Offer – If you have a job offer, be sure to read the fine print carefully. If you have to maintain a specific GPA, ensure that you’re doing everything possible to maintain it. If you’re caught in this predicament, maybe schedule easier classes for your 3L year. This way you don’t have the pressure of trying to achieve particular grades in an effort to maintain a high GPA. Also, easier classes means less preparation time and more time to 3LOL.
- Review Character and Fitness Requirements – It’s never too early to begin reviewing the requirements you have to fulfill to get sworn into the bar. As you do so, review the character and fitness requirements of the state you want to practice in. Ensure that you’re completely aware of the factors that could cause you to fail fitness and make sure that you don’t fall into any of those traps. Most state bars are usually understanding if an applicant had a less than clean past but they will be far less understanding if an applicant displays unfit behavior say a few months before they submit their application. So as you 3LOL, be careful to not let things get out of control.
As your final year of law school is underway, remember to stay focused and 3LOL with caution.
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