It seems to be a unifying feeling among law students at this phase of our path. My fellow bloggers have expressed it well, as have my classmates as we talk before classes, to sum it up…It’s about to get real.
Some are focused on those final grades, some are focused on the relentless job search, others are trying to get those last needed classes, and all of us have begun to look toward Bar prep and the dreaded exam that waits for us in July. Another change that can be felt in the air of law school is the shift of attention of administration and faculty. I must first admit that my perspective is of a student in a charter class of a new law school…so perhaps this is unique to us, but I have a feeling that this is normal among all schools…perhaps with just a difference in intensity. What is it I am talking about? Well for the first two years of law school law students are met with an almost smothering of attention from faculty and administration. It was obvious that they cared about everything going on with us, and emails and phone calls were responded to with the kind of speed that would make any customer service department envious. However, a shift occurred in the final year and it became clear that the 3L class had lost the attention that it once garnered.
So why is it then that the final year of law school seems to not have the attention that the same class did in 2L or 1L years? Some will say…”well they have our money… and now they are focused on students who have not yet given them the full 3 years tuition yet”. Others would offer that “because 3L students are about to graduate they have begun to become less involved in school activities and this prompts the faculty and administration to focus on the students who are taking on these roles and responsibilities for the next year”. And finally some would say “it’s just tough love, a way to begin transitioning students for the “real world” of legal practice where few will find the level of assistance found in the first two years of law school”.
As for me…I tend to fall in that last category. I have noticed, like others, that the level of support has dropped, but I think it has dropped to give attention to those who need it more (1L and 2L students). I am sure we will all see plenty of attention soon…to make sure we are studying for the Bar exam (passage rates), and that we are reporting any jobs we land (job placement percentage). So my advice to 3L students is to enjoy the calm, before you know it we will be on the alumni mailing list.