This article from NY Magazine titled “Wait! But Weren’t His Parents Law Professors? has an extremely poignant paragraph:
“Barbara Fried, too, made a deliberate practice of being emotionally generous and warm with her students. She wanted to guide them toward being whole people, not just cogs in the legal machine. “At the end of the semester, my torts professor literally went, ‘Okay, that’s torts!’ and left the room,” another former student told me. Fried, on the other hand, “gave this beautiful speech that we’ve all talked about for literally years.” She started by telling her students about her own personal reckoning: “sitting in a Chinese restaurant one day, realizing that “the goal of life is not to die with all of your options still on the table.” She closed with a poem, “Sometimes,” by Sheenagh Pugh. It’s about life defeating us often but not all of the time. “Sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well,” the first stanza ends. “Sometimes our best intentions do not go / amiss.” Fried received a standing ovation.”
The entire story can be found here: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/11/sbf-parents-stanford-genius-bubble.html
You are encouraged to take this advice or completely ignore it. 35 years of shepherding law students through law school gives me some perspective so here are a few observations:
- everyone will tell you to not get stressed! You are still going to get stressed but it how you shake it off, push it away, decompress that matters. Sometimes just running around the block will clear your head and gain focus. Bottom line: channel your stress to your benefit.
- don’t listen to everyone. Not everyone knows what they are talking about. Listen to people you trust and have respect for. Consider their point of view and level of experience of those you listen to. Those of us who have been where you are now can empathize as we have stood in your shoes.
- totally ignore the downers! Oh “woe is me” is not what you need to hear right now. In the immortal words of Monty Python ” RUN AWAY”.
- Set up a reward for yourself for the end of exams, something you really want to do so you have a positive goal post. It might be getting your nails done or eating at a favorite BBQ joint, just put it on the calendar for Dec. 10th. It will help you look forward and not lament what has passed.
- Reach out when you need to but don’t expect magic beans. Sometimes it is too late to catch up.. Nothing beats knuckling down and putting in the work. Set up an exam preparation schedule and STICK TO IT! No distractions, no delays and no excuses.
A very smart student once said “ You know a lot but you don’t know everything”. And that is ok. Doing your best is all that is asked.
Best of luck and know that the Pro Bono office is open if you just need a positive thought, a cup of coffee or a space to yell!
Pam Robinson Robinspd@law.sc.edu