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The Perfect Law Student Myth

Cup of pencils and pens

So there I was standing in front of wide-eyed first years, answering questions about how to be a good law student, or better yet, how to be the perfect law student. It wasn’t until after that mentoring session that I remembered my own efforts to become the perfect law student: it was tiring, time consuming and virtually impossible.

So what makes a perfect law student anyway?

For starters, the perfect law student is always up to date with their readings and assignments. I have to admit that I failed this task before the semester even started. It torments me to this day that lecturers set readings for the first week of semester, actually believing that students would do the readings, let alone look at the course guide during the break.

The perfect law student is also involved in a bunch of extra-curricular activities: mooting, law revue, running activities for the law students’ society and writing for their uni’s law magazine. I tried this once. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy mooting; it was just a challenge to fit in all the extra readings while simultaneously trying to stay up to date with assessable uni work.

But wait, there’s more! To be the perfect law student, you should also be gaining work experience at a law firm, community legal centre, or both.

While it all sounds good in theory, the perfect law student is a myth. There are simply not enough hours in the day or days in the year for a normal human being to achieve that much, let alone complete each task to a high standard and find time to relax.

It’s important to work hard and do your best, but set your priorities, find some balance, and remember that being a great law student doesn’t mean doing everything…

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