Musings of a 3L

One of the best perks of working at HDBL is the opportunity to work with law clerks aka soon-to-be excellent lawyers. We are honored to have two at the moment. When one of them asked if I needed anything done, I asked her to write a blog, but that it did not have to be scholarly (which she is absolutely capable of doing, but which I was not in the mood to read 😉). So, without further ado, here are the musings on life as a 3L by the fabulous Emma Avery. (Keep an eye on her, she will do great things).

Karen L. Dowd


Life as a 3L

By Emma Avery, Law Clerk at HDBL

Law school: 1L they scare you to death; 2L they work you to death, and 3L they bore you to death. Or so they say. The third year of law school: equal parts calm based on an acquired comfort with the game that is law school, and panic due to the ever-impending Bar Examination. By this point in her law school career, the average law student has learned how to craft a class schedule which balances classes above the curve with those below it, courses which involve papers or practice-based learning requirements with those that culminate in an exam, and classes for fun or general lawyerly literacy with those that involve Bar prep topics or important subjects for a student’s impending career. Being cold-called in class has become less intimidating, and homework assignments and readings are able to be accomplished efficiently and with a minimum of unnecessary worry.

Strong friendships are established. Friends serve as a welcome source of distraction from law school, and they are also there to commiserate over the woes of the day when such feels warranted. A network is being built, comprised of fellow students, professors, and practitioners. By the second semester of 3L year, most students have post-grad jobs, have completed (or made a plan to complete) their graduation requirements, and are cruising forward toward graduation.

The one obstacle that truly remains is that pesky Bar Exam. Everyone completes it. The graduating students have been hearing about the application process since early into their 1L year. The application itself is close to twenty pages long, and a variety of supplemental forms are required to be filed and sent out in addition to the application itself. Err on the side of disclosure, everyone says. That mantra has been repeated so many times that it leaves the average applicant searching for something in her past that she may have forgotten to include and disclose. Even after the application is done, a summer two-thirds full of studying looms. While friends who are not in law school plan summer vacations and outings, 3L law students feel obliged to regretfully inform such friends that from mid-May through late-July, they will be unable to participate.

Until May, though, the 3L students enjoy the calm before the storm, as they steadily move through the temporary slump which is 3L year.

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