One For The Money. Literally.

13 05 2010

My first year of law school has come and gone. You’d think that after four years of high school and four years of college, I’d get used to how fast a school year can move. In some ways, that first walk into Boyd Law last fall seems like it could have been last month. On the other, so much has happened in the last 9 months that Orientation Week seems like a lifetime ago. A year of law school feels like two years of undergraduate thanks to all the work that goes into it. I’ve read more this year than my last two years combined. (And Dad, if you’re reading this, that’s because I wasn’t assigned as much in the last two years, NOT because I wasn’t doing the work.).

A lot has happened this year. Hawks Nest going into full-swing, Hawkapalooza, the amazing football season, the Orange Bowl, getting to know all my fellow law school students. And that’s just a start. It was definitely a hell of a school year.

So what have I learned? Adverse possession, standards of negligence, affirmative defenses, Miranda rights, Rule 12(b)(6)? They’re all great and will undoubtedly be useful in my professional career. What did I really learn? I learned that I could do it.

Less than 200 people were accepted to Iowa Law. The fact that I was one of the lucky 200 should’ve instilled confidence in me. But somewhere along the line, I lost it. Law school started to scare me, started to intimidate me. I’m not the type to back down from a challenge, and law school getting to me definitely rattled my cage. Of course, a slew of personal life issues played into too. But after the first semester, I needed to find my swagger again.

Luckily, I did. Second semester put me right back on my feet. I enjoyed the classes more, got to know my classmates better, and enjoyed success in extracurriculars. Second semester helped me understand that I will be alright. I can handle law school. My grades may not always be in the top of my class, but I know I’ve got the skill-set, personality and intangibles to succeed outside the classroom. The field of law is born in the classroom, but it is not lived there. I applaud my classmates that stick their nose in a casebook 10 hours a day, they have a deity-like work ethic that will carry them places. But if it comes down to me being able to get straight A’s or me being able to sway a room full of people to think how I want them to, I’ll take the courtroom skills before the good-looking transcripts. I’d love to have both, and will try my hardest to succeed on both sides, but I know where my strengths are.

This appreciation of where I am makes me very excited for my 2L year. I’m enrolled in classes I am actually excited about, and am hoping to be involved in a legal journal to brush up my skills. Coupling that with the great places Hawks Nest will be going this year, and an exciting athletic scene at Iowa, next year is looking to be one of the best yet.




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