Nearly three years of law school has taught me a very valuable lesson; one must learn to multitask (and not allow oneself to become overly distracted with any one thing) to succeed. My multitasking skills have been put to the test this semester, as I have had to balance my studies, work, and a flurry of unexpected health emergencies involving my mother and grandmother. Such a state of affairs does not seem unusual at first glance, but when one of your classes requires you to conduct a series of workshops for different audiences, and time is especially of the essence, the most common of life circumstances can become daunting obstacles. I have not cracked under the pressure, and I am confident that my partner and I are going to deliver the best possible workshops that we can to our “clients,” but these experiences have taught me how to multitask in ways that the past two and a half years of law school have not. Learning how to prioritize my responsibilities has been especially helpful to me this semester.
In terms of balancing class, work, and family, I have learned that while I need to take care of my family, the best way for me to assist my family long-term is to graduate and receive my law degree, as this will allow me to procure the type of job (and thus, the type of salary) that I need to pay the bills and give my family the best quality of life possible. How does this relate to Clinic? I have learned to depend on my relatives more so that I can devote more time to emailing my client, making arrangements for the various workshops that our team is to conduct in March and April, preparing for the workshops, and seeing our team’s dream finally come to fruition. We have put in too much work this year for life’s unexpected circumstances to keep us from accomplishing our goal; I am learning how to strike a balance with my classes, work, and family. My increased ability to “strike a balance” not only applies to academic vs non-academic activities, but it also applies to the varying interests between my team members and our collaborators in regards to our workshops.
My partner and I are currently preparing for the workshops that we are to teach in March and April, and while one desired collaborator is no longer a part of this venture, another collaborator wants to take this venture in a completely different direction-he does not think that we will be able to attract a good audience for our workshops. One of the most important aspects of becoming a good lawyer is learning how to negotiate; the connections that you make now will help you to procure work in the future. As such, my partner and I do not want to burn any bridges with any of our collaborators. While I still believe that our workshops can (and will) attract a suitable crowd, given the desired collaborative nature of our clinical project, I am willing to hear our collaborator’s suggestions on how to make this venture as successful as possible. I am continuing to learn how to strike a balance between my (and my team’s) interests, conducting a series of workshops, and our collaborator’s interests, something other than conducting a series of workshops. My ability to multitask and strike a balance with school, work, family, and varying project interests is a testament to my (and my partner’s) growth as a law student and a blossoming lawyer. Hard work truly does pay off.