Student Post: Hello from the Other Side – A message from your past life before law school

By Smriti ’17

There you are, bug-eyed and beaming with enthusiasm. You feel totally prepared to take on the first year of law school with your new laptop, 50-lb textbook, rainbow highlighters (the boy next to you doesn’t even have a highlighter…) – you feel like the King Kong of Dockser 250 when suddenly you hear your name and you are snatched away from that beautiful memory and snapped back to present day when you are running on 2 hours of sleep and maybe some organic kale juice to keep your body from faltering. This is today…day 32 of 1L year when you are supposed to be callous towards the horrifying practice of cold calling but you crawl into your skin every time you hear your name split the classroom air. You struggle to find that first day “glow”- that steadfast aplomb that made you commit to law school. Your mind is racing to say something…ANYTHING to answer that menacing cold call.

RELAX- this is not Northeastern School of Law (NUSL). NUSL has an amazing collaborative atmosphere where faculty and students work with one another in tandem to overcome any cold calling that may take place in class. Many members of the NUSL faculty value cold calling to build students’ one-the-spot oratory skills necessary to become effective lawyers- but that doesn’t mean you are hung out to dry when you are called on in class to explain a case, concept or simply opine about a court’s decision. You are part of a community that embraces the definition of a collegial atmosphere, and you are guaranteed to find a helping hand (in this case voice) in class that will happily assist you if you find yourself on unsteady ground (after all- who isn’t in unchartered territory in law school?) 

So goes 1L year, 2L year and soon enough 3L year, and rest assured it is all survivable. You have your very own survivors on campus: fellow students and the many NUSL alumni scattered across the world. Law school may sound daunting (and it is) but it is not insurmountable with the unique collaborative atmosphere between students and faculty at NUSL.

That being said, be sure not to lose sight of yourself in the law school vacuum. Whether it be baking, cooking, playing sports or music, acting, volunteering, binging on Netflix – keep your hobbies alive to build a tether to the outside world from law school- because let’s face it, you aren’t going to be in law school forever.

Personally, I have (*tried*) kept up with many of my hobbies, foremost singing, baking and playing soccer. I take advantage of the creativity in my hobbies, allowing me to experiment with different sounds, ingredients and strategies without any rigid Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or Restatements holding me back.

Take home message: Reach a hand out to your past life before law school and infuse your past into your present because, believe it or not, we all have to live in the real world after the 3 year law school bubble and your past life is your phantom guide to re-incorporate yourself into life after law school.

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About the author:  Smriti is a 2L student at NUSL and an undiscovered Betty Crocker in the kitchen, part-time soccer coach and downright Italian at heart with a love for the operatic arts. She is interested in pursuing a career in commercial real estate or estate planning/trusts administration. Feel free to reach out to her with any questions about law school and most importantly any topics you would like to see her blog about at choudhury.sm@husky.neu.edu.

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