Thursday, December 27, 2012

Law School Regrets

I graduated from law school 30 years ago. When speaking to law students about how to find a job today, I mostly cover the basics. But I draw on my own experiences, too, and offer one bit of advice rarely provided by most career counselors. I arrived at this advice when, to prepare my presentation, I asked myself: “Knowing what I now know about legal careers after all these years, would I have done anything differently when I attended law school?”

It’s not that I wish I had studied harder and obtained better grades. Even if I had studied harder, that was no guarantee my grades would have improved. No, I was looking for some aspect of my behavior where I had more control over the end result. It did not take me long to think of the answer.
What I wish I had done differently was make more friends.
Make ’Em Before You Need ’Em
Certainly, I had my share of good friends, a few of whom I stay in contact with after all these years. However, looking back, I made no intentional effort to meet as many of my classmates as I could. Most of my good friends were those who shared my classes the first year, and as a second- and third-year student, I still sat with them. Even at parties, I still talked to the same people. Like most of my classmates, I rarely took the initiative to meet others. In retrospect, that was a big mistake.

There is a popular saying that you should always try to “make friends before you need them.” When it comes to law school, you have just three years to make friends. Even as a student, you might already need them. Good friends come in handy when you need a study partner, or when you’re a little short on cash and just need someone to buy you a drink.
Full article here.