4 Practical Tips To Deal With Law School Anxiety
For first year law students, the weeks before starting classes can be a whirlwind of emotion. Excitement, uncertainty, and worry are just a few of them. For many, these emotions manifest as anxiety. In this post, we cover 4 ways to deal with law school anxiety.
4 Practical Helpful Tips To Deal With Law School Anxiety
1. Try to turn worry into excitement.
Our first tip for how to deal with law school anxiety is to try to turn your anxious into excitement! Depending on your temperament, you may channel nervous energy into anxiety. This makes it much more difficult to have a positive outlook about law school. You end up picturing how everything could go wrong. Instead of seeing success and enjoying the journey, you instead worry about how it all could end in disaster.
It is possible to channel your emotions in a more positive direction! Instead of trying to calm down, which only suppresses your feelings, try to consciously change them to excitement. That way, you have both an outlet for your emotions and a positive way to direct them. Don’t think about how everything can go wrong in law school. Instead, think about the incredible journey you have ahead of you. Yes, it will be a lot of hard work. However, you will have plenty of time over the next three years to handle that. Visualize yourself succeeding instead.
2. Develop A Study Schedule.
Another good way to deal with law school anxiety is to plan on how to deal with your coursework. Develop a law school study schedule. Yes, there will be more assigned reading than your undergraduate courses. You will also interact with the material in a different way than you did as an undergraduate. Law school also utilizes the Socratic Method which terrifies some students, who aren’t good at thinking on their feet. How can they possibly do everything they need to get done?
While the above scenario sounds intimidating, you can deal with law school anxiety by planning a study schedule. Specifying when and where you will study will give you a framework to get everything done. Many people find the structure of a study schedule comforting. When class material threatens to overwhelm them, they have a plan with how they are going to deal with it. Even though a study schedule is planned, it gives some students a sense of liberation because they know exactly where and when they’ll complete their class material. (Note: If you are worried about the amount of reading assigned, check out our post on how to speed read a law school case.)
3. Connect with your classmates.
Another common way to deal with law school anxiety is to connect with your classmates. For some, realizing the fear and worry they feel is in fact a common emotion among their peers is comforting. No, you are not the only one worried about how you will handle the rigors of the next three years. So, talk to your classmates, make friends, and form study groups if you find them helpful! You’ll find that good friends who understand what you are going through make everything easier. They’ll be a valuable source of support over the course of your law school career. It always helps to have someone to bounce ideas off of, or who can help you understand a particularly tricky concept.
Remember, though, to avoid overly anxious people. If you find that a particular person, or group of people, only ratchets up your anxiety, do not to engage with them.
4. Remember, that you are not graded against the “perfect” answer — your answers are compared with those of your peers.
Finally, remember that law school grades on a curve. It is impossible to know every part of your school material in granular detail. Luckily, this is not the standard you will be held to! If you feel overwhelmed, remember your peers probably do as well. Many students deal with law school anxiety by remembering that they will ultimately be judged on how well they know the material when compared to their classmates. If a course or topic is hard for you, it most likely is for everyone else as well!
Interested in law school tutoring or assistance?
If you are interested in an in-depth course that goes over how to succeed in law school, please consider signing up for our law school preparatory course or utilizing our law school tutoring services if you need help while you are in law school.
If you are interested in tutoring for law school exams or learning more about how to answer law school exam questions, please visit our law school tutoring page here or click here to contact us. We offer sessions both online and in-person in our office in Birmingham, Michigan. We provide outline assistance, feedback on exam questions, and also one-on-one assistance in tackling an exam question. In addition, we are very flexible about scheduling sessions — some students just meet with us once to go over an exam; some students meet with us multiple times to reviewing substantive law, outlining, and exam-taking strategies!
Ashley Heidemann is the owner and founder of JD Advising. Ms. Heidemann scored over a 180 on the Michigan Bar Exam in February of 2011 after graduating as the #1 student in her law school class of over 200 students in 2011. She, as well as a team of others, offer bar exam courses, seminars, and private tutoring for bar exam students nationwide. This includes services for the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) and Michigan bar exam. Please click here to contact her company, with any questions.