I am a 3L originally from Poughkeepsie, NY. I graduated from Binghamton University (SUNY) with my B.A. in 2005 and my M.A. in 2007 both in Political Science. I spent the 2 years between finishing my MA and deciding to go to law school as a Student Affairs Administrator and an Adjunct Professor...
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Grades…Jobs…Second Semester….oh my!
The beginning of the second semester is probably one of the most stressful of all. While you would think the first semester “end game” of exams would be (and don’t get me wrong, it is), finding out how you did on those exams is unnerving. Unlike being an undergrad, our grades don’t get posted until January. What I find amazing at times is that, like undergrad, students seem to have various methods (or mind-sets) of checking their grades. Some people will obsess and check them hourly even though they are posted around 4 PM (that was me in the beginning), others will only check when they know a grade has been posted, and probably the students with the greatest will power will actually wait until all their grades have been posted.
Also occurring around this time is the annual 1L job hunt for summer employment. Almost every 1L that I’ve talked to lately has begun to search out jobs for this coming summer, some are looking at government jobs, others with non-profits, and some at private law firms. In the midst of getting our grades and regular coursework, everyone is bustlingly working on resumes and cover letters. It seems as though Career Services has been extremely busy lately meeting with just about every 1L applying to jobs and letting us know about on campus interviews. I will say that the staff is amazing at getting us all in and taking real one-on-one time and interest in each of us to make sure we are doing what we want to do, not just getting the jobs we end up with.
Probably the “best” thing about the second semester is that law school isn’t entirely unfamiliar and new. You have mostly the same professors (we switch Criminal Law for Property) and you’re not as frightened to talk in class anymore. While the stress is (and always will be) there, I will assure you it does get “easier.”