By Shirlene Armstrong • August 27, 2018•Writers in Residence, Law School, Other Law School Issues
I had made it through my first year of this crazy thing called law school. Honestly, after the close of my 1L year, I was absolutely exhausted. Although I was looking forward to working full time during the summer at a law firm, I was also ready for a break. Summer came and left in what felt like a day. I worked hard, learned a lot, and gained so much valuable experience. Armed with new knowledge and confidence, I was ready for my 2L year. Little did I know how crazy my 2L year was going be.
Busy does not even begin to describe my 2L year. For as long as I can remember, I have always juggled a lot of activities on top of work and school. Ever since I was 16, I have held a job and had to work hard. My parents have reinforced the idea that you should never let an opportunity go wasted and work hard to open doors for myself. This was true for high school and undergraduate, and law school was no different. My 2L year, however, was definitely the busiest year of my life thus far (however my 3L year is gearing up to be even more crazy). On top of a full load of challenging upperclassmen classes, I worked for LexisNexis as a student representative, served as a student rep for Themis bar prep company, served as the treasurer of the Women’s Law Caucus, competed on the Mock Trial team, worked part-time as a law clerk, and participated in numerous clubs and activities. All that while also making time for my friends and family and maintaining my house. Oh, did I mention that my best friend was getting married a week after my final exams? Because I was her Maid of Honor and also had numerous events and duties for this joyous occasion as well. Even now, I am constantly on the move and running from one thing to the next.
Another big event in my 2L year was joining the Mock Trial program at my law school. I had always wanted to join a mock trial program, however I never went to a school that had one until law school. Unfortunately, 1Ls were not allowed to participate in the program has competitors so I had to wait my turn until 2L year. Fortunately, I secured my spot and was part of the the in-house competition consisting of 32 junior members, each broken into teams of two. Each semester these teams went through two regular trials (one you are plaintiff/prosecution; the other you are defense), semi-finals, and finals. I really enjoyed this part of my 2L year and Mock Trial was an amazing experience for me. I was able to break down two very different problems, prepare my cases and arguments, and perform the trials. I loved Mock Trial so much that at the end of the semester, I was further honored by being elected the Commissioner (i.e. President) of Mock Trial for my 3L year.
So that’s how I survived my second year of law school, the “worked to death” year of law school. I made it through the busiest year of my life and got one step closer to my dream. Two down, one to go. I have learned so much more my second year compared to my first and I am excited to see what will come for me next. Shockingly, my 2L year plagued me with stress and a crazy schedule. I felt like I was going through the motions sometimes and just had to keep pushing through. I felt so run down by the end of the year. Instead of succumbing to the traditional law school rut, I challenged myself to push through and keep going to further my goals of becoming an attorney. I gladly leave my second year of law school with a smile on my face and now look forward to preparing for the 3L “bored to death” year of law school. As I sit here preparing for my last first day of school ever, I am anxious and excited for what my last year of law school will teach me.