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16 Struggles Only Law Students Would Understand

16 Struggles Only Law Students Would Understand

Someday you plan on being a successful attorney so that you can fight for minority rights or lead internationally-renowned cases. Today, however, you are just a law student, living off caffeine, balancing deadlines, and trying to get a grasp of what this “legal” thing is all about. If you’ve chosen to pursue a degree in law or want to be informed about what you should expect of your education, here are 16 struggles every wannabe lawyer faces:

1. You know that every rule has an exception

Ninety percent of legal rules have a few exceptions, and some more exceptions to those exceptions. It eventually makes you wonder whether the whole legal system is based on rules, or on exceptions.

2. Your reading list is long and expensive

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    Compared to your peers studying at other graduate schools (with the possible exception of med students), the list of books you need to buy for just a single course is so extensive that it touches the floor. Even worse, those books cost you a tiny fortune, and aren’t necessarily helpful. Out of fear of going broke, you spent your first year learning where to score discounted books and find free academic articles online.

    3. You have learned to discuss the readings without reading them

    You can talk for hours about things you have never read, and still sound smart doing it.

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    4. You hate moving or going home on holidays

    Packing is your worst nightmare, because you know at least 70% of your suitcase will be filled with textbooks, half of which are on next semester’s reading list that you’ve vowed to read during the breaks.

    5. You are broke

    And probably will be for the first few years of your career. You enviously watch your Facebook friends post pictures of new cars and houses while you continue to share a tiny studio with a roommate and eat cereal twice a day. You’re afraid to look at your bank account at the end of the month when it’s time to pay off your student loans. While out on a cheerful Friday night, you secretly calculate how many more beers you can afford if you plan to pay your bills on time.

    6.  You often doubt if you have chosen the right degree

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      When the pressure starts to mount, your motivation drops to a record low, and the pile of cases on your desk climbs so high it could be used as a ski slope, you start to question your choice of profession for the tenth time this year. A degree in law will stretch you to your limits and test your commitment over and over again.

      You know folks who’ve switched degrees and now study something they enjoy, while later planning to take another shot at legal in grad school. Sound like a really appealing scenario to you too? The good news is that you can actually transfer your credits to an online degree program like the one at Regis University. With a degree from RGS, you could study something you actually enjoy and save a ton of money at the same time.

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      7. You are tired of giving free legal advice

      Your best friend, your mom, your dad’s cousin, and even his dog have asked you for some minor legal advice at least once (or twice, or ten times). You’re tempted to scream that you plan to become a corporate lawyer specializing in mergers, and are unable to answer questions like: “How can you represent someone you know is guilty?” And no, you can’t help with their phone contract. Nor do you have any idea of the legal intricacies of Internet libel law.

      8. You need to learn everything for exams

      exams

        As one of your tutors puts it: “This amendment is not examinable material, but is good to know for the purpose of your exams”.

        9. Your best friend is caffeine

        You catch up at least five times a day, and often at night when you need to finish another seven page essay by tomorrow. You can’t live without each other, yet you often blame it for making you see noises.

        10. You never stop competing

        Law school has turned you into a gunner. You are always forced to compete against fellow students for the best grades. Some schools have even made things worse by using a bell curve to mark the group, making your grades directly depend on how the rest of the year performs. You know people who become extremely defensive and do everything purely for personal gain (and often at the expense of others). You think the television show “The Apprentice” features some mild drama and low competition compared to the battles happening in your classroom.

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        11. You have love/hate relationships with tutorials

        Yes, it’s the legal playground where you are supposed to learn and act, but most days you simply try not to appear clueless and avoid the wrath of the tutor. Although you do admit that these small group interactions gave structure to your learning and helped you remember the material, you can’t stop hating these days as they approach.

        12. You are constantly asked about “commercial awareness”

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          It’s your #1 pet peeve requirement on any job listing. It’s a somewhat mythical concept each employer regards as crucial for a position with them, yet hardly any of them ever bother to explain what exactly it entails.

          Let’s get this clear once and for all – commercial awareness in a nutshell is an interest in business and an understanding of the wider environment in which it operates: customers, competitors, and suppliers. Basically, apart from coming with a hoard of legal knowledge, the employer expects you to know some business basics as well. This also secretly means knowing all things possible about their market, the issues that may potentially bother their customers, and everything about their aggressive competitor’s strategy and how you can help to squeeze them.

          Sure, you can read a few business articles and take advantage of your skills to talk wise about things you know little about, but be prepared to study more if you’d like to get that job!

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          13. You speak and understand another language

          The legal language that is: one sentence paragraphs composed of a peculiar mixture of Latin and unpronounceable English words, spiced up with even more twisted jargon. You can even speak like this sometimes, especially when you don’t want to appear clueless at the tutorial.

          14. Your career prospects are rather vague

          You try not to read the news too often, with headlines such as “energy sector cuts lawyers” and “legal aid cuts” appearing every other week. Getting a job as a recent law grad is tough. But when there are no jobs to take, how are you expected to pay off your loans?

          15.  You blew a lot of your money on highlighters

          highlighters

            Sometimes you wonder if you’re reading your textbook or your little sister’s coloring book. You just need to highlight the most essential parts, even if that means coloring the page in five different colors.

            16. You can’t imagine having another career

            Despite it’s woes, pressure, debt, and caffeine withdrawal symptoms, life as a law student is the only way you can imagine it. You would still love to become an attorney one day to help people in trouble, fight for justice, or just finally got to know the right definition of “law”.

            Featured photo credit: Thomas Leuthard via flickr.com

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            Last Updated on July 18, 2019

            What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

            What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

            Some people just seem to float through life with a relentless sense of happiness – through the toughest of times, they’re unfazed and aloof, stopping to smell the roses and drinking out of a glass half full.

            They may not have much to be happy about, but the simplicity behind that fact itself may make them happy.

            It’s all a matter of perspective, conscious effort and self-awareness. Listed below are a number of reasons why some people are always happy.

            1. They Manage Their Expectations

            They’re not crushed when they don’t get what they want – or misled into expecting to get the most out of every situation. They approach every situation pragmatically, hoping for the best but being prepared for the worst.

            2. They Don’t Set Unrealistic Standards

            Similar to the last point, they don’t live their lives in a constant pursuit towards impossible visions of perfection, only to always find themselves falling short of what they want.

            3. They Don’t Take Anything for Granted

            Happiness rests with feeling fulfilled – those who fail to stop and appreciate what they have every now and again will never experience true fulfillment.

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            4. They’re Not Materialistic

            There are arguing viewpoints on whether or not money can really buy happiness; if it can, then we know from experience that we can never be satisfied because there will always be something newer or better that we want. Who has ever had enough money?

            5. They Don’t Dwell

            They don’t sweat the small things or waste time worrying about things that don’t really matter at the end of the day. They don’t let negative thoughts latch onto them and drain them or distract them. Life’s too short to worry.

            6. They Care About Themselves First

            They’re independent, care for themselves and understand that they must put their needs first in order to accommodate the needs of others.

            They indulge, aim to get what they want, make time for themselves and are extremely self-reliant.

            7. They Enjoy the Little Things

            They stop to smell the roses. They’re accustomed to find serenity when it’s available, to welcome entertainment or a stimulating discussion with a stranger when it crosses their path. They don’t overlook the small things in life that can be just as important.

            8. They Can Adapt

            They’re not afraid of change and they work to make the most out of new circumstances, good or bad. They thrive under pressure, are not overwhelmed easily and always embrace a change of pace.

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            9. They Experiment

            They try new things, experience new flavors and never shy away from something they have yet to experience. They never order twice from the same menu.

            10. They Take Their Time

            They don’t unnecessarily rush through life. They work on their own schedule to the extent that they can and maneuver through life at their own relaxing pace.

            11. They Employ Different Perspectives

            They’re not stuck in one perspective; a loss can result in a new opportunity, hitting rock bottom can mean that there’s no where to go but up.

            12. They Seek to Learn

            Their constant pursuit of knowledge keeps them inspired and interested in life. They cherish information and are on a life-long quest to learn as much as they can.

            13. They Always Have a Plan

            They don’t find themselves drifting without purpose. When something doesn’t go as planned, they have a plan for every letter in the alphabet to fall back on.

            14. They Give Respect to Get It

            They are respectful and, in turn, are seen as respectable; the respect they exude earns them the respect they deserve.

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            15. They Consider Every Opportunity

            They always have their eyes open for a new road, a new avenue worth exploring. They know how to recognize opportune moments and pounce on them to make the most of every situation. Success is inevitable for them.

            16. They Always Seek to Improve

            Perpetual self-improvement is the key towards their ongoing thirst for success. Whatever it is they do, they take pride in getting better and better, from social interactions to mundane tasks. Their pursuit at being the best eventually materializes.

            17. They Don’t Take Life Too Seriously

            They’re not ones to get offended easily over-analyze or complicate matters. They laugh at their own faults and misfortunes.

            18. They Live in the Moment

            They don’t live for tomorrow or dwell on what may have happened yesterday. Every day is a new opportunity, a new chapter. They live in the now, and in doing so, get the most out of every moment.

            You can learn how to do so too: How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future

            19. They Say Yes

            Much more often than they say no. They don’t have to be badgered to go out, don’t shy away from new opportunities or anything that may seem inconvenient.

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            20. They’re Self-Aware

            Most important, they’re wholly aware of themselves. They self-reflect and are conscious of their states of mind. If somethings bothering them, they fix it.

            We’re all susceptible to feeling down every now and again, but we are all equipped with the necessary solutions that just have to be discovered.

            Lack of confidence, inability to feel fulfilled, and susceptibility to stress are all matters that can be controlled through the way we handle our lives and perceive our circumstances.

            Learn about How Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life.

            Final Thoughts

            The main philosophy employed by the happiest includes the idea that life’s simply too short: life’s too short to let things get you down, to take things for granted, to pursue absolute and unrealistic perfection.

            For some, employing these characteristics is a second nature – they do it without knowing. For others, a conscious effort must be put forth every now and again. Self-Awareness is key.

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            Featured photo credit: Charles Postiaux via unsplash.com

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