Why Having a Non-Law School Person to Lean On Is So Important

Law school helpToday, we’re pleased to welcome back Gabriella Martin, 2L extraordinaire, to talk about why it’s so important to keep your non-law school people close!

I want my mom. This is a phrase that I am unashamed to say passes through my mind on almost a daily basis in law school. And I can bet that I am not alone in this regard. But why? What is it about law school that has that part of our brain reverting to the same coping mechanisms we used when we were little?

Law School is Hard

Well, in case you haven’t realized it already, law school is hard. It is probably the hardest endeavor you have you have ever undertaken. So it’s only natural that you find yourself reaching out for those closest to you.

I mean, think about the reason that phrase “I want my mom” was said almost daily when we were kids.

First off, as kids the world seems like a big scary place. As we get older we learn our strengths and slowly but surely the world begins to seem a lot smaller. But then law school comes in and changes the game. Now it is not a matter of managing the world, it’s a matter of fixing it. And what once seemed manageable, seems like an 18,000 piece puzzle with no clue of where to start.

Why Non-Law School People Are Important

This is why these non-law school people are so important. Whether it’s your parents, your spouse, your friends from college or your siblings, you need them as much as you need your fellow law students if you are going to get through the next three to four years as a relatively normal person and keep your sanity.

Below are some ways that my non-law school people have helped me make it through the past couple of years. Let these give you some ideas on how you can make the best use of your parents, siblings, spouse, friend, etc. And if you think of any ways I haven’t mentioned, let me know in the comments!

  1. They allow you the chance to breathe. You know that feeling you have when you suddenly take a deep breath and you realize you hadn’t been breathing (or barely breathing) for the last few minutes? You know how refreshing that deep breath is? Well, think of visiting or talking with your non-law school person in the same way. Because when you’re constantly running around in law school, it is easy to forget to breathe or to take a moment to just stop. I can’t tell you how I relaxed I feel after spending a night at my parent’s house. I feel recharged even with that short break from my studies.
  2. They remind you of why you started this journey in the first place. Sometimes in the daily hustle and bustle of going to class, externships and reading cases you can forget why you’re even going to law school . . . what motivated you to go in the first place. Catching up with those non-law school people can remind you of who you were before sleepless nights and Palsgraff. This is so incredibly important because at the end of the day you still are this person. In essence, law school is just the Chemical X that makes you the superhero lawyer you’re destined to be. All the stuff you did before, all your experiences, opinions and beliefs—that is the sugar and spice.
  3. They keep you from flying apart. Have you ever gotten to that point where you feel like you’re trying to juggle too many things at once and now instead of juggling you’ve just tossed all the balls up in the air with a prayer that you’ll catch them? Or do you feel as though your life since law school has begun to give you more whiplash then a breakneck roller coaster? If the answer to either of these is yes, it’s time to lean on your non law school person. I know for me, when I get to this point, the only thing that will keep from losing my mind is a hug from my mom.
  4. They make a good backup study buddy. Sometimes the best thing for studying is to see your classes for a different perspective. And the truth of the matter is that unlike your study group, your non law school person has not been in your classes and doesn’t know the ins and outs of the law like you do (as much as you may feel you don’t).

They will be there to cheer you on and to distract you when you’re beginning to dream in case law.

Thanks, Gabriella!

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About Gabriella Martin

Gabriella Martin is a law student at Quinnipiac University School of Law in the Intellectual Property concentration. Gabriella graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a degree in English Literature which furthered a passion for creative writing and analysis. Gabriella is involved in several ABA committees and numerous student organizations--including a 1L mentoring program. When she is not writing for Law School Toolbox or The Girl's Guide to Law School, Gabriella can be found catching up on TV shows, discovering new music, and going on adventures, both big and small.

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