Stay Focused As A 3L

How To Stay Focused As A 3L Student

You have made it so far and can see the light at the end of the tunnel!  It is very easy to lose sight of that end goal during your 3L year when you are pulled in a million directions and just want to be done with law school!  In this post, we discuss tips for how to stay focused as a 3L.

How To Stay Focused As A 3L Student

Prioritize your commitments.

Between working, internships, extracurriculars, classes, and starting to think about the bar exam, your third year of law school can quickly become overwhelming!  Some students make the mistake of thinking that the third year of law school is the last chance to squeeze in every possible law school opportunity that was skipped the first and second years (for instance, clubs and organizations).

Instead of thinking of 3L year as your “last hurrah” as a student, think of it as a transition into your career as a lawyer.  Take on commitments that you know will help you following law school. Things like internships can lead to jobs. Look into part-time work that could lead to a full-time position, networking opportunities that could lead to recommendations, etc.  Once those student loan bills start rolling in (if they haven’t already!) you will be much happier that you spent your time wisely and ended up landing a job than if you are still in the thick of the job search!

Remember that your grades still matter!

Maybe you planned ahead and got all of your required courses out of the way, so you are able to take a “blow-off” class or two your last year.  Just because you hear that a class or professor is “easy” doesn’t necessarily mean you will get an A!  Law school classes, no matter how “easy”, are still difficult!  Even if your school applies a less-stringent curve to elective courses than first-year courses, chances are that the class is still subject to some sort of curve.  And don’t forget that you are likely taking electives with 2Ls who are likely taking the class very seriously!

If you are aiming to finish at a certain rank in your law school class, your 3L classes can make or break your ranking!  This is your last chance to excel and boost your position!  Furthermore, if you are still looking for a post-graduation job, most (if not all) employers will want to know your law school GPA.  This is your last chance to boost your GPA and help you land your dream job!

Start thinking about the bar exam early.

You have been working for years toward becoming a lawyer. The bar exam is the final hurdle you have to overcome.  Don’t make that hurdle higher than it already is by missing an important deadline!  Check your state’s requirements early regarding when your application and payments are due. Also, confirm any character and fitness requirements that you will need to take care of.  You may also want to start thinking about travel arrangements and booking a hotel for the bar exam.  Hotels closest to the exam locations can fill up 9 months prior to the exam in some states.  Don’t add stress to your already stressful situation by procrastinating!

Have fun!

Try not to let the stress overwhelm you.  Remember to plan some fun activities into your schedule!  After graduation, everyone in your class will likely go their separate ways and start working full-time, allowing less time for social interactions.  Take advantage of this last opportunity to be a student and spend time with your classmates!  Just try to keep your ultimate goals in mind and balance your schedule!

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