Back To Law School ~ Part 1

This is a back-to-school series with a twist. It’s almost September and everyone is writing about going back to school. But not many are focused on going back to law school.

People are always fascinated when they learn that I write about food and that I’m an attorney. But from what I see around me, it’s not as uncommon as most people think. I believe that many of us may have found that having a legal background helps us with our creative work as well.

So I’ve been reaching out to people who graduated from law school, but who also write food and/or lifestyle blogs, are working in the food industry, are writers, or working on some other creative endeavors.

The label “recovering attorney” may be one that some of us choose, but whether we practice law traditionally or not, we don’t lose the knowledge that we gained in law school.

I think that we have an interesting perspective on life, so I asked a simple question. “What advice would you give to a current law student going back to school?”

My answer to the question is to believe in yourself. Sure there is a lot of reading and the work will be challenging, but you can do the work. The hardest part is keeping a positive mindset and not getting caught up in the drama.

When everyone around you is freaking out over exams and buying every study aid that ever existed, step back, take a breath, and figure out what you need. If you need to take time for your yoga practice or bake cookies to share with your friends so you can stay positive and focused, then do it.

What works for you? Figure that out and do it regardless of what everyone else is doing or what they may say to you. Because come second semester and second year, some of those people won’t be around anymore.

Below are answers to the question by two other creative attorneys. Depending upon how many answers I receive to the posed question, this will be a series of posts through September.

Even if you’re not in law school or going back to school, I hope that you’ll enjoy this series as well. We all find inspiration in different places. My hope is that this series will inspire you as much as it is already inspiring me.

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Marian Klausner, Owner, Shake The Tree

I think that surviving law school gives you a tremendous sense of self-confidence that you carry with you on whatever path may lay ahead. I practiced for 8 years and then ended up opening a women's clothing & gift shop, which I have had for 18 years. Law school and the experience of day-to-day practice gave me the sense that I could achieve any dream I had, if I really worked for it. I never thought of myself as exceptionally brilliant before law school but I did well academically and that made me realize that if I focused on something I wanted to create, I could really do it! So, my advice to students is to enjoy the process of learning and keep challenging yourself to think outside of traditional career routes! You never know where you'll end up!

Sarah Feingold, Jeweler and General Counsel, Etsy 

First Year: Enter law school with an open mind and embrace opportunities.  Take advantage of free legal research tools, join a club or two, and make friends. Oh yeah, don't forget to study hard.

Second Year: Don't be afraid to make mistakes. It's better to make mistakes in law school than in the real world.

Third Year: Enjoy your last year and cherish your time with your law school buddies. Times flies and before you know it you'll enter the stressful world of finding a job and studying for the bar exam.

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 Stay tuned for more interviews coming up! 

*Updated 9/4/12 * Part 2 is up today!

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Linda Jordan said…
You have a fun blog and this is an interesting series! I am a second year law student and I've been very happy with the experience so far, but I'm definitely not letting go of my creative side. I started blogging only a little while before law school, but my blog is all about scrapbooking, DIY, photography and everything crafty...all the things I love! Although law school is a huge part of my life it isn't everything & I've been happy to meet lots of other law students with similar balances :)

Lisa Johnson said…
linda - Welcome! Thanks for the kind words. It looks like you've managed to keep a nice balance, which is so important in life. The best of luck to you in your 2nd year! : )

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