As of today there are 38 days until graduation. The idea that my academic career is almost over is incredibly surreal. But preparing to graduate comes with its own deal of stress (doesn’t everything in law school). But this is good stress, exciting stress and at times kind of scary stress. To think that after three years of law school, four years of undergrad and the 12 years before that, I am about to enter the real world. So here are some of the steps and final thoughts I have about lawyering! BAR APPLICATIONS! Like many students in the Moscow campus, I am going to take the Washington bar. Applying to sit for the bar was a very hectic experience and I recommend being on top of that early on in your 3L year. Even more so for non-traditional student who have moved more or worked in a lot of different places. Washington required housing history and employment history 5 years back and all citations or criminal history disclosed and explained. It was a lot of work to get all this information. Washington’s application is electronic. However, Idaho has a written application and requires the same information but 10 years back! Do you see what I mean about stress? Each application also has a hefty fee not to mention the cost of bar preps, so save up. My application has been submitted and is pending review. It is an exciting and nerve-racking experience but one that has to be done. UM AM I REALLY GOING TO BE A LAWYER SOON? I was part of a panel for admitted students over the weekend, where I advised students to embrace a “fake it till you make it” attitude about law school. It’s very true for becoming a “real lawyer.” This past year I have worked with several clients in the law school’s legal aid clinic and I do not remember a time where I felt like knew exactly what I was doing. Now to think that I am applying for jobs where (ideally they would pay me) I still wont know exactly what to do?? It seems like a very frightening thought and one that does not completely go away. Law school really teaches you how to teach yourself the law. There is no way you will leave law school and know everything there is to know about the law. The law is always changing and you have to be ready to learn and change with it. So yeah fake it till you make it! But remember that law school has taught you all the skills you need to succeed. THE SUMMER. Many of my classmates have also been on top of their game! They have secured employment and are set to begin their careers. I however have been very cautious about the idea of entering the real world. I am cautious for two reasons, first I do not want any more pressure in preparing for the bar and second, I would love to take a break from life. Taking the bar is already a stressful and pressure filled event. It costs so much money and takes so much time and it would be great if you just take it once and be done. However, I am realistic (or a pessimist not sure). I feel much more comfortable with the idea that if I happen not to pass the first time, I can study and take it again without having to explain that to an employer or have it affect a job I have lined up. As much as one can enjoy 8 am to 5 pm study sessions about the black letter law, I am excited not to have school or school deadlines and responsibilities. I am excited to be unemployed and enjoy the summer from 5-10 and on the weekends. I plan to focus all my energy studying and preparing. I look forward to that. However, if the right job comes about, I am not one to say no to a great opportunity!