Hi Diary Readers! I had a great experience taking advantage of some of the events and classes my school offered over the years. From a personal and professional development perspective, the most helpful classes and events were those that were not doctrinal classes (those classes are still helpful in an academic way!). The following are the ones I felt were the most beneficial for me.
Competitions. If you are scared or shy, law school is a great time to really shake those nerves out and participate in a competition. Whether it is a writing competition, oral advocacy, or negotiation, just do it. You don’t want to be a practicing attorney without the confidence and skills to perform the very important tasks law school competitions teach us. In the end, you get to put it on your resume!
Writing Classes. Most law school require only one year of legal writing, but my school required two. Even if it was not required, I would have taken another year and then some more if I could. I think that taking the slow and intentional process of writing with the guidance of a professor teaches you to be a quality writer. I also feel that the more you challenge your writing skills, the easier writing will become down the road. Take the advice from someone who truly thought they were a horrible writer before law school!
Legal Research Classes. This was one of the most helpful classes I took during law school, second only to legal writing classes. I would highly recommend taking a legal research course because I truly felt that my first year legal writing class could only teach me so much about legal research. In my legal research class I learned about different types of research, forming your own research style, using different databases, and tackling a variety of research topics. By the end of the class, I no longer had anxiety about research. I felt comfortable and excited to research anything and everything. I would recommend taking the class as early as possible, so that you can practice your skills at future job positions.
Non-Law School Classes. At the school I attended, there was a course offered to those interested in becoming fitness instructors. I took the class for fun and I never regretted it. It led to my side hustle of being a fitness instructor and kept me active during law school. At one point, I also saw a free self-defense class, which I wish I would have taken at the time. I would recommend looking at classes that may interest you personally! Might as well take advantage of everything the school offers if you’re paying a lot to be there.
Student Organizations. Student run organizations are a great way to spend your time and become involved in school. Many organizations offer networking events the school doesn’t offer, social events, and other competitions. Take the time to find a student organization that you vibe with, and I promise, you won’t regret it. Even if you don’t end up joining certain organizations, attending events could lead to long-term connections.
Volunteer Events. Take advantage of the volunteer events that your school puts together because they can only benefit you. Volunteer events can offer work experience, a resume booster, networking, socializing, and personal growth all in one. Make it a goal to attend at least one volunteer event each semester.
If you make the effort to tailor your law school experience to something YOU find interesting, you will feel much more positive and productive in the space because of what you took away from it. As always, don’t hesitate to comment, like, share, or send me an email.