There’s a whole world of people out there for you to connect with. So be open to the idea of getting involved in your community as a way of developing a network that can work for you when you become an attorney. Mostly, I’m talking about making friends. Of course, there are groups like Rotary and Toastmasters that are made up of local business talent that meet for the express aim of networking. But there are also groups that may pay dividends that have nothing to do with business.
Getting involved has a two-fold purpose. First, you never know when or where a connection with someone will pay off. That’s the mercenary standpoint. Second, you need to keep part of your life for doing what makes you happy while you’re in law school and as a lawyer. Your work as a student or as an attorney may make you happy but it’s not, or shouldn’t be, the sum total of your life. It’s all part of the work/life balance thing. So if you’re really into cycling, join a local bike group. Pet cats at the animal shelter. Volunteer at Second Harvest. If you’re into running, join an ultramarathon group.
I’m not telling you to wholly ignore your studies. Law school is competitive, grades do count (but they don’t count for everything) and you need to do everything you can to be successful at learning. But spending 24 hours a day either studying or worrying about studying isn’t healthy. Some 2Ls find that their grades go up when they have a job on top of being a student. Structure forces them to organize and prioritize. So do something for your personal well-being and the health of your career. Get involved in your community.
For ideas on how to get involved, contact your Student Public Service liaison 3L Sarah Karp or get in touch with Catherine Brown at the Center for Law in Public Service.