Don't Lose your Idealism at Law School
A lecturer once told me that law school would “beat the naivety out of me”. He was not referring to my belief that evidence and proof were the same thing but rather the fact that when I graduated I wanted to change the world.
In some aspects he was right. Many of us enter law school with a sense of idealism and grand plans to make the world a better place, but somewhere along the way we lose it. We become so caught up in the assignments, study, sleepless nights, clerkship applications and PLT that we forget why we first started studying law. If this sounds like you, then fear not, you don’t have to sell your soul just yet…
Set a Goal
Starting with an end game in mind is one of the easiest ways to stay motivated. It doesn’t have to be specific (think criminal justice, Legal Aid, human rights, etc) – just a basic idea of what you want to achieve post-law school. Now write it down, in big letters and put it somewhere that you’ll see it all the time. Hell, write it on post-its and stick it all over your room if you want. When it all gets too much and you feel like chucking it in and trying your luck on Broadway, this will remind you why you’re doing this. Sometimes all we need is a little reminding.
Get out there
Are you passionate about a cause? Consider spending your summer break volunteering with a cause you’re passionate about. There are a number of great organisations that offer opportunities to volunteer both overseas or locally in a wide range of areas. Not only are you gaining valuable experience and helping make the world a better place, but maybe working in an area related to your end goal and realising how much of a difference one person can make will help to give you the motivation to get through that final leg of law school.
Don’t be so Critical
When you begin studying law you start to realise that no one gets it right 100% of the time. We’ve all had those cases that have shaken our faith in the legal system, and if you haven’t then you obviously haven’t done your readings. The important thing to remember is that the system also does a lot of good: protecting the weak from exploitation and the innocent from persecution.
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