I think I decided to be an attorney around 4th or 5th grade. There was just something about wanting to argue, fight for justice that appealed to me. I don’t know if it was then or at some point later that I identified with the profession because I felt it suited my personality. I wanted to be a teacher in elementary school as well. I eventually decided to major in History and become certified to teach even though I wanted to go to law school.
What I didn’t know about teaching was the testing involved-Praxis and all of that. I already knew about the bar. I was freaking out about the bar in 11th or 12th grade. I transferred after my first year of college. I found out that it would take five years instead of four to graduate from undergrad if I wanted to teach. That was out the door. Teaching was just a backup plan for me.
I applied to two law schools. I received my rejection letter from my first choice the day I graduated. Talk about a let down. I eventually received a letter from my second choice. Wait listed. Disappointed much? I told somebody I didn’t care. As long as I graduated by 30. I got a call asking if I was still interested in my second choice. The only catch-I had to find money in a short amount of time. I didn’t have it. And asking for it was not a possibility. I would have had to hurry up and find housing and all sorts of things. I turned it down.
I applied to my second choice again the next year. My life was crazy. It had been for much of my life. But the year after graduation was especially difficult. I got my acceptance letter and deadlines for money while in an extremely bad place. I wasn’t even happy about acceptance. I still had the same issues from the previous year. I was also toying with the idea of moving away. The acceptance letter didn’t really provide a bright spot in all the dark chaos. I turned them down. And left the state within the next two days.
After I moved life didn’t get better. It actually got worse. I had all but given up on my desire to go to law school. There were so many other things going on and going wrong. But the dream never really died. I ended up having to take the LSAT again. My score was better the first time I took it. I applied to a different law school. And got in. Of course not without being told I had to take a summer course. And I had to come up with the money on my own. Sound familiar?
But it wasn’t! I also applied to a program that was kind of like a law school boot camp. I was allowed to go there in lieu of taking a summer class at my school. The only issue now was having a job after a six week absence. I give God total credit that the head honcho liked me and was an attorney. Not only did I keep my job but the program gave me money for six semesters of law school.
I started law school over four years after I graduated from college. I was a horrible student before law school. Well, I had horrible study skills. I was a crammer and a prayer. I felt like people lied about how hard college was and that they were lying about how hard law school would be. Even after stressing out during the program, I didn’t take law school as seriously as I should have. I didn’t study as soon or as much as I should have. I didn’t write my papers as soon as I should have.
And it showed. I got a 2.2 my first semester. What now? In order to graduate you have to have at least a 2.3. I can’t accurately pin-point my emotions. It was disappointing to receive a letter stating that if I didn’t get better grades I wouldn’t eventually graduate. I think there was a possibility of dismissal. I didn’t keep the letter and I didn’t really want to commit its contents to memory. I took responsibility for the grades. I couldn’t be mad because it was on me to study. But there was one thing that stood out.
Struggling first semester students could take advantage of tutoring from peers who excelled in the course they struggled in. While I did okay in one of my classes, I went ahead and got tutoring in both of two of the classes it was available for. I was supposed to get tutoring for a new class but… I did what I had to do to stay. This was a goal that I had for over half of my life. Not to mention I was going to need a decent job to be able to afford to pay back my student loans.
Law school since has been hits and misses. I was ill prepared for the rigors of law school. That’s on me. But I think if I had been better informed I wouldn’t have done it. I managed to pull my GPA up to a 2.7-no easy feat in law school. It may drop to a 2.6. I’m tired. It’s been three years of school and working full time. I will graduate no matter what grades I get-while I am 29! And I think I’ll be a far better lawyer than law student. Studying for the bar is non-negotiable! 🙂