Thursday, May 7, 2020

Dealing with Quarantine and Covid 19 As a Law Student

Being inside all the time may be the "new normal" but it
also can be a very depressing new normal.

There are many changes in the world happening right now.  Law schools are trying to adapt to changes.  Recently we posted an article about how the LSAT will be online.  We also wondered if the Bar Exam would one day change to an online test in the future.  I also wrote an informative article about how New York is only allowing graduates from New York law schools to take the next bar exam.  All of these things impact law students all over the country.  Yet, there are many other issues that are also affecting law students.

Law students may be wondering what the job situation will look like after law school.  At least one law firm partner has stated that the old way of going to work in an office is gone for good.  Students are wondering about their student loans and how they will be affected.  This is not only because of the virus, but also based on what may come out of the next presidental election.  Law students also wonder when they may go back to class, and depending on the state they live in, the timeline may look different.

There is no doubt that many law students are under a lot of stress during this time.  Many law students think about summer internships and fellowships, and those things may be even harder to come by than they were in years past.  How many law firms will be hiring for summer work?  What will be of OCI?  Yes, much has changed.

Yet, there is another issue that is the same for many of us, and that's the issue of staying home.  It's no secret that being stuck inside the house is depressing, no matter how cool your old bedroom in your parent's house may be (and I am sure many law students have moved back in with their parents).  Little sunlight and fresh air is not good for any law student.  When I went to law school, I remember a taken-for-granted utopian world of going out to lunch in Brooklyn and choosing between a wide variety of delicious foods.  Gone are the days of taking an overpriced Starbucks coffee to class.  Gone are the days of a walk between classes just to get some fresh air.  The sound of students gathering in campus courtyards and exchanging notes or talking about job prospects is a bygone thing.  Those who seek out and thrive in social situations are finding that those situations are sorely missed.  Even introverted law students (such as I was) will find something to miss about regular law school life.  Yes, life is very, very different now.

Many conspiracy theories abound about the COVID 19 Virus, but you have to focus and stay optimistic during this time!
It seems that the year 2020 has been stolen from many of us.  Many of us have questions.  Some of us want to think that the virus was grown in a lab.  On the other extreme, some are saying that the virus is not a big deal at all.  These are all coping mechanisms to make sense of the changes that have been brought on us.  It's hard for a person who has had such a shift in reality to deal with the change that normal life just happens to bring.  Maybe that's why conspiracy theories abound during these times.  Law school students may think that they are smart enough to be exempt, but these thoughts often come from lawyers from the top echelons of society.

There are ways to keep yourself sane while you wait for the world to open back up.  First, you have to realize that this is temporary and that it is extremely important to still work hard on your studies.  Some of your fellow students will be slacking during this time, and it is a good time for the diligent student to climb that all-important metric of "class rank."  It's also a good time to keep a journal, start a hobby, and reach out to others in different ways.  Many people are giving back through volunteering.  You may want to keep in touch with your school to see what the options for OCI and summer work will be, even if it's limited.  If they tell you there's nothing available, keep trying.  The adage that says "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" is very true.  Those who are persistent tend to win in life.  It's also an amazing time to read my popular book "The Ultimate Law School Strategy Guide."  In this book, I have many tips that, if implemented, will literally propel you to the top of your class. 

Life has changed a lot, and we have all begun to adapt to at least some of this change.  As things begin to open again, one must work to keep a sound mind and an optimistic spirit towards the future.  I know that this helped me during law school, and I saw that those who did the best in and more importantly, after law school were those who had the optimistic outlooks.

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1 comment:

  1. The quarantine has been hard for people. There are many students who are very depressed. Some want to take the NY Bar exam and can not now. Some wanted to relocate after law school. Some of us are stuck and wonder if we will find jobs. I think it's the worst for 3Ls. 1Ls still have two years left. In 2 years the virus will be history.


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