Today, I’d like to reflect on my 2L year of law school. For those unfamiliar with law school, we refer to the year we are in as #L (1L – first year; 2L – second year; 3L – third year). As many of my longtime readers know, 1L wasn’t the best year for me. The first semester was rough but I seemed to get the hang of things by the end of the year. I entered 2L hopeful and excited. Coming back to school after my summer job, which I loved, I felt invigorated and with more purpose than the naive version of myself who entered law school the previous year. I took mostly business classes in the fall and found myself loving them more than I ever expected. For the first time, law felt clear and understandable and more black and white than super ambiguous.
Were there struggles? Obviously. In the fall, I received the lowest grade in the history of my academic career. I was a bit shell-shocked and cried into my Christmas cookie as my dad told me that he knew I was disappointed, but he was proud of me. In my other fall semester classes, however, I did well and I discovered a love for business law I didn’t know existed. I also worked on my Student Note for Business Law Review, a journal at my school that I work on. Then spring came, and I did an externship at a local law firm. I really enjoyed the experience and got to know the classmates I worked with better, which made me feel more connected to my law school. I left my 1L summer adamant that I would return to California for 2L summer and that I certainly made a mistake by going to school on the east coast. However, I was pretty keen on developing more of a sense of belonging in law school, which was a feeling largely absent from my first year and a half.
So, I decided to go for the Editorial Board for Business Law Review and was named the Senior Notes Editor of my journal. This means that during my 3L year I will oversee the Note-writing process for 2L members and I will work with the notes editors to ensure their writers are meeting the requirements for note writing. Securing a place on the editorial board was so exciting, and made me feel a bit like myself again. I was so involved in college that not having any leadership in law school felt weird and a bit foreign. As a final comment about my journal experience during 2L, my note was selected as an alternate for publication with our journal. I was humbled by this because, though my note wasn’t chosen for publication, I honestly never expected anything from my note. I decided to write about blogging and copyright law because it was a topic I loved. I do not say this to brag about myself, but rather that it’s extremely important to be true to yourself and write about things that are important to you. In law school, we often hear of people picking note topics they think will get them published and how they have miserable writing experiences because of that decision. Do not let others inform what is important. If you are passionate about a legal issue, write about it, shed light on it, and see what happens.
Spring semester was hard. I will say it was the hardest semester of law school thus far. Yes, even harder than 1L fall. I took classes I knew had extremely tight curves, and I put a lot of pressure on myself, to the point where I think it affected my overall performance. Further, while most of my friends had jobs, I was still struggling to find something. You can read about my job search HERE. When grades came, I was disappointed in most of them. I did my very best, but it still didn’t feel like enough. So, though 2L felt worlds better than 1L overall, it ended on a slightly sour note, which was unfortunate. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed myself during 2L, and felt much more content with my experience and with my location than I ever had. Finally, I am currently working in DC for the summer, and I have to say, I’m really enjoying it. I always feel that things work out how they’re supposed to. In fact, I likely sound like a broken record with that sentiment, but I feel it so deeply. There have been times where I say, “I still believe that, but I just do not understand the reason right now,” as tears create blackened, mascara infused streaks down my cheeks. And yet, someday, often in the near future after such an outburst, I realize, “ah… I get it now.” While crying over grades may seem trivial, immature, and melodramatic, I will say that for me, grades have always been something I can do and when I feel disappointed, all the pressure I’ve put on myself releases like a river, and the weight of that can be crushing. Also, I know that sometimes the tears come because of grades, but the root of them is bigger. Law school breeds self-doubt in ways I never expected, and I am not good at feeling uneasy or unsure or like no matter what I do it isn’t enough. However, I will not let grades define me and I will be a successful attorney in the future because I want it, and the only thing stopping me is myself.
To conclude, I will say 2L, in my opinion, is better than 1L and at the end of the day, you can do whatever you want to do. Also, once you get your first job, the grades you shed tears over will be nothing but ink on a page.