The Legal Clinic - Second Semster
While the first semester of the housing clinic had its own challenges of learning how to advise clients and what laws to look at to solve their issues, the second semester brought a new challenge of figuring out how to manage your clients along with your 3L law school priorities. The challenge was taught during the second semester of the clinic as Professor Lawton kept telling us during the first semester of the clinic, “I am going to push you off the cliff.” Professor Lawton didn’t mean this literally, but what she did mean was that she was not going to be as much of a guide for us during our second semester. When second semester started it felt very overwhelming, as Professor Lawton would say that she expected more from us and if we weren’t giving her enough she would push us. By Professor Lawton pushing us my clinic partner and I pushed ourselves to meet her expectations. We would spend hours and hours reading statutes for our clients and drafting documents for them and when we would go to our client meetings Professor Lawton would be proud of us because we were meeting her expectations.
Being a 3L in your second semester I believe is one of the most stressful times of law school, aside from the first semester in law school when you are trying to figure out how the whole law school process works. The stress of freaking out about the bar exam, because the schools passage rates have come in as 10% lower then last years, and below the national passage rate, stressing out about the bar application while trying to find all of the documents you need in order to meet the deadline, along with the stress of finding a job that you can have after law school all come together and terrify you as you are trying to survive day after day. On top of all these stresses you are trying to get good grades in your classes in order to boost your GPA, and you are trying to have your clients cooperate with you so that you can get what they need done for the semester. Balancing all of these different stresses and priorities of your 3L semester are very challenging and difficult as it seems that everything just keeps on piling up, one after another gets you to understand how the real world of being a practicing attorney will be when you graduate.
The reason I discussed all of the challenges during your 3L semester and with the legal clinic is because I want the take away to be that the legal clinic experience is one that truly prepares you for the outside world. The legal clinic experience teaches you how to manage clients when you have all your other law school priorities as well as, how to counsel clients, and how to do more practical things in the practicing world, such as read and interpret statutes. Getting this experience I believe was very important because in law school it is only through a clinic that you really learn the true meaning of what it means to be an attorney and part of it is, managing all the things that are going on around you and in your life while also managing your clients and their needs. The clinic experience teaches you how to accomplish everything all together.