Last week I participated in a law student panel hosted by the Justice and Pre-Law Society at Arizona State University. I was in a similar group during my under-graduate days and so I jumped at the chance to tell them about my experience thus far in law school and to encourage them to follow their dreams.
I expected them to ask all about MY experience; what are my favorite classes, what organizations I am involved in, what I planned to do this summer, what type of law I hoped to practice, etc. When I got there, however, I realized that I forgot an important detail: when I was an undergrad, I didn’t care what law students were currently doing. And they didn’t either. They care about what they’re going through; preparing for the LSATs, taking courses geared toward getting them prepared for law school, what types of internships they should apply for, how to ask professors for recommendation letters, etc. Sure, they wanted to know whether I liked it and how it was different from the undergraduate classes I had taken, but their primary concern was what they should be doing right now (and understandably).
In hindsight, there are so many things I would have done differently during undergrad to prepare myself for law school. I would have taken every law-related class I could find. I would have spoken up more in class to get more comfortable doing so now. I would have gone to professor’s office hours just to chat and get to know them. And I told them all of this. We also talked about how to prepare for the LSAT and whether to take a structured prep course or to study on your own. We discussed personal statements and how to apply to law school. We talked about visiting schools to find the right fit. The students seemed to hang on every word, and it was rewarding to be able to provide answers to their concerns.
Overall, participating in the law panel was a worthwhile experience. It was nice to be around students who are excited about the path I’ve chosen for myself and who looked to me for advice in making their own decisions. Next time, I will be sure to prepare for questions that are of unique concern to them and their current experiences. I highly encourage others to get involved with younger students. Who knows, they may be your co-workers one day.