Ep 2. Legally Brunette: Confessions of a Law Student
For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of becoming a solicitor and after surviving my first year at university; I would be lying to you all if I did not say how scary my future now seems.
The truth is, as soon as I stepped foot in my first Criminal Law seminar, the tutor got straight to the point and said how unlikely it is that we would become successful lawyers. I half-heartedly both agree and disagree with this statement in several ways. One, how can someone stand in front of ambitious students and shatter their dreams so early on. Two, who is she to determine others futures. But three I hate to agree with her. Entering into the legal profession was never going to be an easy journey but now I have more questions, hopes, dreams and fears than ever before.
If you have not started your law degree yet then I will warn you now, it will be the best experience and a nightmare at the same time – I still have two years to go and already believe this statement. A majority of the time you will say to yourself “what the hell am I doing here?” and a lot of the time you will question your academic ability when comparing it to others who may seem more intelligent than you – I cannot stress how I felt like this for the whole academic year in Public Law. I genuinely thought I would fail that module.
You will also realise that a lot of students are not as hardworking as you or will not care about their degree as much as you and while this is frustrating enough; what is even more frustrating? When they get even better grades than you with minimal effort. However, over time you will just accept that this is just life. In return though, with hard work and determination, you can do just as well as them – I managed to pull a 2:1 in my worst module which was exactly the same as my friend who understood it from day dot. I was actually on a date when I received my result and refused to check what my grade was straight away because I was so worried that I was going to fail. On the other hand, you may find you underperform in your best units and still to this day I have no clue why.
The amount of reading is not a myth, you will soon realise that it is impossible to read everything and on top of the core text reading; you have articles, case judgements and additional research – trust me this is not as fun as indulging into a good fictional novel. In my first year I did not do all the assigned reading and while I read plenty of articles, they were not the most beneficial.
Pulling all-nighters is inevitable and even when you think you are on top of everything you will most likely fall behind and have a meltdown thinking that you cannot do it – I certainly had many meltdowns in the library and got more stressed out than it was worth. If you are anything like me then you will also realise the novelty of coffee and Red Bull soon wears off.
The reality of the amount of hard work it takes to succeed hit me as hard as the bus hit Regina George in Mean Girls. The fear of not getting at least a 2:1 in my second year absolutely petrifies me and the decision of whether to do a placement or whether I will get a placement confuses me just as much. It seems that my whole life I have had my future planned out however now it is in progress, I am more confused than ever but equally as determined. Both the ideology that I must obtain a 2:1 or a first class degree or no law firm will ever accept me, scares me. There is a harsh reality that there is not a great number of firms out there who will help fund the extortionate LPC fees. Which will leave me struggling to find £12,000 without money for living, and that scares me. Out of everything, the thought that I may never get my dream job scares me the most, because I may not be as clever or confident as some and that deep down I know that I may lack qualities that some prospective employers are looking for.
Despite this one day, I will get where I am meant to be and if that means being directed down another path, then so be it. All I know is that I am only at the start of my future and whatever is meant to be, will be.
Courtney Bekah x