Law School Diary: My First Day

One of the reasons I stay anonymous as LBB online is not only to protect my privacy but so that I can be brutally honest and personal and hopefully help someone in the process. I am starting a 'Law School Diary' that will be updated every Monday. The topics include law school experiences, embarrassing moments, relationships, my fitness journey, and my life outside of law school. I hope you enjoy it :)

Going in to my first day, I was extremely nervous. I did not know anyone I was going to be in class with, besides the few people I met at orientation. It was the first time since grade school that I had to make new friends and completely dive head first into this kind of experience. Some would say that college was similar, but I had friends from high school with me and my roommate. Essentially, I felt like the new kid.

When I first walked in, I tried to get there pretty early to get the seat I wanted. I had met two girls, Megan and Bridget, at orientation that I was hoping to sit next to. When I walked in (20 minutes early), every single student was already there. How did I feel like I was late to class when I was 20 minutes early?!? I panicked a little bit on where I was going to sit and if I would be stuck in the front row. Then I spotted Megan who had saved a seat for me in the back and wow - I felt honored. 

I took a look around, trying to scope out who I would be in class with everyone. It was about 50/50 ratio of men and women, ranging from 22 year-olds to 50 year-olds. I had not recognized a single soul besides those that I met at orientation and it was honestly kind of refreshing. No one knows my history, they don't know anything about me. I took this time to reflect on the fact that I could reinvent myself and start fresh with these people. 

The teacher walked in right at 10am and she was a short woman in her upper 60's. From the outside she looked like she could be your grandmother, she seemed really sweet and caring. Then she started talking and this lady got scarier and scarier, the kind of person who clearly doesn't deal with bullshit. She laid out the outline of the semester and emphasized that she expected a lot out of us. She stated that if we expected this to be anything like college that we should get up and leave - what a welcoming first day. 

Little did I know that that speech would be what motivated me to work my hardest.  I knew I couldn't half-ass my work like I did in undergrad. I had to actually read and comprehend the material that I was learning. That little speech scared me enough to actually do my best. 

After scaring the shit out of us, our professor went right into the lesson (we were assigned reading over the summer). There was no PowerPoint, no writing on the board, nothing. It was just her talking to us and calling on students. This was something that I found to be the hardest. I loved having visual aids and notes on the board during class. I wasn't used to paying attention solely to what a professor was lecturing. 

Thankfully, I was not called on during the first class which is a good thing because I was honestly a nervous wreck the entire time. The 2 hour class went by in what felt like an entire day and I left the room more stressed than I had ever felt before. It was going to be a long year. 

We then had a 2 hour break before our next class. Megan, Bridget, and I got some lunch across the street and I was so relieved to find out they felt the exact same way as I did. We talked about our scary professor and the students that were already sucking up to our professor on the first day. 

By the time our next class rolled around, I was expecting to have a professor just as scary as the first one. We actually got to the class early enough to get the seats we wanted. Some students had gotten there an hour early to reserve their seats *eye roll*.

Our next professor was all over the place. She came off disorganized and frazzled and I didn't blame her. Professor P turned out to be a sweetheart and was really knowledgeable. I felt comfortable in her class and didn't feel scared to be cold-called. She told us she was going to call on students going down an alphabetical list so that we could prepare ahead of time (what a saint). She had really calmed my nerves from the scary experience I had earlier that morning and I felt like this was finally something I could handle. 

Class ended at 4 and I had never felt so exhausted. All I had done was sit in a chair and listen most of the day and yet I felt like I had just run a marathon. Despite that I was motivated to get a head start on the work that I had to get done. I knew this motivation would not last me all year so I might as well get ahead while I can. 

On our way out we were invited to a bar review that Friday. I was only a 1L and I was a little confused why we were already be reviewing for the bar which was 3 years away. Little did I know this was a social event at a bar that happened every Friday night. She told us that they could get pretty crazy and most of the law school comes every week. My first bar review was a little wild, but that's a story for next time ;).

Overall, the first day wasn't as bad as I had thought it was going to be. It makes you realize how much work needs to be done throughout the year and the kind of commitment you made when you decided to go to law school. Little did I know it was the start of the most stressful, exciting, and crazy experience of my life.