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Getting over the Law School Slump

Cartoon hitting head on table

Source // giphy

The Law School Slump. We all experience it at some point during law school. Most often, it’s because we’ve been working hard non-stop since high school. Symptoms usually start to appear in second or third year – when you’re about halfway through your degree. The good news is, you’re not alone and there are ways to get back on track.

1. Channel your inner Elle Woods/Harvey Specter/Atticus Finch/*insert legal legend*

Lacking motivation? Watch or read something legal! It may sound silly but it can also reignite your passion for the law. Forget about everything, sit back with some snacks and watch a few episodes of Suits, good ol’ Legally Blonde, or read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’! You’ll feel so much better and also feel your motivation coming back!

2. Talk to people

Talking to someone is always helpful. If you’re feeling down, speak to someone. Most universities offer student support in the form of counselling, academic advice, study skills advice, etc. You can also talk to your friends and classmates – chances are they’re also feeling the same way. It’s quite common for students to lose motivation whilst at university, especially for those studying law.

It’s also a good idea to speak to legal professionals such as lawyers, lecturers and law graduates. If you know what field you want to go into, speak to someone who works in that field. You’ll be able to gain some perspective into your dream profession from someone who’s experienced it all.

3. Immerse yourself in your dream field

So you want to be a human rights lawyer? Want to work for a top-tier law firm? Are you studying law to become an academic? An advocate? Whatever it is, remind yourself why you’re studying law. Students often lose their mojo because they forget why they’re here. Go out and immerse yourself. Volunteer at a community legal centre. Shadow a barrister. Get involved in a legal program. Get some work experience at a law firm. (Bonus – you can add these to your resume and build up your networks too!)

If you still haven’t figured out why you’re studying law, then now’s the time to do so! No matter how far off graduating may seem – it’ll make your law school journey a lot more bearable.

4. Take on less

If the source of your demotivation is overworking yourself, take on less during the semester. Do two or three subjects instead of four. If you’re involved in one too many extracurriculars, don’t be afraid to cut something loose. As much as it is good to balance out your studies with work and other extracurricular activities, your studies should still be your top priority. Don’t forget that you’re paying thousands of dollars to be at university – make it count!

5. Take a break

Alternatively, use this period of demotivation as an opportunity to take a break. Spend some time away from textbooks, lectures and law school. Take a gap year or a semester off to travel or work. Or, do nothing – use this time to relax and re-energise.

Man dancing

Source // giphy

Don’t forget that it‘s completely normal to feel weighed down at some point in your studies. The most important thing you can do is address your demotivation rather than dismiss it in the hopes that it will go away. Fix it, don’t bury it. You’re definitely not alone!

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