I remember my first year of law school like it was yesterday. I was anxious, nervous, excited, and scared—not to mention that I felt completely incompetent and stupid. It was definitely an uncomfortable stretching and molding process. Now, in my last semester of my 3L year, I’m amazed to look back and realize that I’m only a couple of months away from literally holding that J.D. degree in my hand. [Sigh]. What a beautiful thought!
As I’ve headed into my last semester of law school (and possibly the last semester of school for me ever) I have to keep reminding myself that although I may have not started out the strongest, I need to finish strong and keep persevering toward my goals of graduating and passing the bar exam. To be perfectly honest, I’m extremely tempted to get “trunky” and set myself on cruise control with my school work until graduation. But then I remember that when graduation rolls around, the work is not over. Oh sure, I’ll walk across the stage and feel very accomplished and heave a great sigh—heck, I might even scream at some point just because I’ll be so excited to be done with case briefings, the Socratic method, and all homework in general! But the bar exam is still ahead and the need for perseverance, not just in school but on the bar exam, is still very important.
Not too long ago, I heard the story of runner Garry Bjorklund who, in 1976, was determined to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team’s 10,000-meter race for the upcoming Olympic games. Halfway through his qualifying race Garry lost his left shoe. Now, if it were me, I’m pretty sure I would have died of embarrassment; secondly, I’m not sure whether I would have stopped to put my shoe back on or just given up...but needless to say, I don’t think I would have kept running. But Garry did keep running—reminding himself that he had to do his best to qualify. I can’t imagine how much his left foot hurt after running on a cinder track for the rest of that race, but to everyone’s surprise and great astonishment, he ended up finishing third and qualifying to race for gold in the Montreal Olympic games. Not only that, but the time he ran that day was the best he had ever run! Talk about perseverance...
Obstacles may present themselves in our journey towards a J.D. or passing the bar exam—whether it’s ourselves just getting “trunky” and mentally checking out, or other events and circumstances we can’t control. Just remember to keep persevering, give it your best, and finish strong!