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Visiting Law Schools

Transitioning from Undergraduate School

by Molly White (1L)

I honestly believed coming to law school shortly after undergraduate school would be simple.  As a double major, in Philosophy and English Literature, all I did was read and write; I did not believe I would have to change my study habits much.  Additionally, my last semester I took 19 credit hours and worked around 40 hours a week.  It couldn’t get more stressful right?  Wrong…law school is a whole new breed of stress.  I don’t want to scare anyone away from it because it is one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had.  Not only has it changed my study patterns, it has changed the way I think.  Even in a single semester I can see how the way I process information has changed.  Undergraduate school is vastly different from law school. For one, they don’t teach you how to be comfortable with the ever-present struggle with ambiguity.  

My favorite classes as an undergrad were Epistemology and my senior seminar course. Being in law school is reflective of those courses.  The classes were the only ones that put my brain through its paces, so to speak.  I left the classroom still thinking about the class discussions.  I left trying to put an impossible puzzle together.  Law school has done the same thing.  Only now I am challenged every day in each class.  Similarly to when I tried to piece together an impossible puzzle, I leave the law school with the most amazing headache.

Personally, I believe I was lucky at Western Michigan University with the majors I chose.  Being a literature major readied me for the hundreds of pages I read for my classes now.  In philosophy, there was always a struggle of applying theories and attempting to decipher subtle ambiguities that altered an entire perspective.  Choosing philosophy as a major was a subconscious stroke of genius because it relatively prepared me for the massive ambiguity we face in law school.  Coming directly from undergrad was another subtle stroke of genius.  Had I taken much time off from school I likely would have lost that skill. That is to say coming from undergrad was perfect for me; too much time off and I would have succumbed to the laziness that is seemingly engrained in my heart. 

Retrospectively, I’ve learned that my brain is either on or off, and generally it is on.  Having my brain constantly attacked and rebuilt is a wonderful feeling, which is why I loved my philosophy classes and was so excited to start learning the law right away.  Coming right from undergrad gave me just enough time to turn my brain off and restart before jumping into the rigors of law school.

Questions?  Find me on the Law Ambassador website.

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