After 5 semesters in the classroom, and 8 semesters before that in my undergrad, I was very done with going to class. In fact, the thought of another semester in the classroom almost made me sick. Not that the teachers are bad or the students either. It was just time. I was completely over the classical approach to learning. I have always been a hands-on learner, but my need to do that doubled itself through law school. If you aren’t familiar with the justice system before law school, the information you start to learn is very nebulous and hard to grasp. I knew that getting to work would be my saving grace in school.
But, luckily, I didn’t have to go back after my fifth semester in school. Instead, I got into a program called “Semester-in-Practice,” (SIP). During an SIP, you get school credit for working full time as an extern in public service and non-profit offices. I applied to work at the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office in Boise, and am currently in my 5th week of my externship. It is indescribably amazing to be able to go to work every day, go to court every day, and be able to connect the dots of law school to the practical application of the law.
I feel so fortunate that I go to a law school that fostered a relationship in the law community in the state that allows the students to go out and learn from practicing attorneys. It is such a great program, and I have had about 5 different attorneys tell me that they did the exact same externship program that I am doing, and now they are successful lawyers—both defense attorneys and prosecutors. Before my externship, I was a bit terrified of the idea of going out on my own as an attorney fresh out of school, attempting to practice law without any practical knowledge. Now a lot of that anxiety is gone—because now I know that I can do the work and that I am part of a legal community that will build me up instead of leaving me without support.