Law school has definitely made me better at identifying and taking good advice. I spent most of October with “Law Launch Blog Post” in the middle of my to-do list. The fact that this brief post comes in November should serve as evidence that October was a busy month. The fact that it was manageable at all is a product of good advice from a professor who suggested that I lighten my course load to make the most of my opportunities with the clinic and the journal. I am glad I took that advice.
I spent October managing one of the more intensive portions of JETLaw’s publication process and getting up to speed as second chair for an oral argument that a colleague will make at the Sixth Circuit during finals. If I was actually taking the course schedule I contemplated over the summer, it would have been impossible for me to take on the responsibility of second-chairing that argument. I would have missed an extraordinary experience.
It can be difficult in the early months and years of law school to know how to allocate limited time and attention. Some things deserve a little. Some deserve none. Others deserve as much as they can get–often more than a busy schedule will allow. As soon a law student begins searching for a job, the uncertainty of the process starts converting molehills into mountains. We are advised throughout the job hunt that ANYTHING–a shared hobby, an extra tenth of a point on a GPA, a stylistic choice on a resume, a well-timed email, or a chance encounter with someone who knows someone–could make the difference between being qualified and being hired. That makes EVERYTHING feel urgent.
I was particularly grateful for the advice that allowed me to step back from a reflexive sense of urgency to reacquaint myself with importance as a standard for time allocation. Putting fewer courses on my schedule this semester turned out to be a good choice. When I started scheduling my final semester of classes, I took that advice again. There are a half-dozen classes that I wish I could take, but I am happy with my decision to spend my third year doing intensive work in a few areas. Doing less is a great way to do more, once you know what is important.