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Graduating from Stress: The Progression of the Law Student Winter Break

The quality of one’s winter break in law school depends almost entirely on two factors: what year one is in law school, and one’s general disposition. I’m not sure how many of you reading this are prone to freak out, so I’ll focus on your place in law school instead.

Let’s take the 1L. I’m sure that, by now, everyone has told you how important your first semester grades are. They’re mostly right. If you’re a 1L, you get to spend winter break mentally rehashing every final you took and worrying about your performance on finals. Sounds fantastic, no? If you find yourself in this position, my advice is to get as far away as possible from law school/students during winter break. Find some semi-exotic locale and plant yourself firmly in a state of willful ignorance of your possibly impending doom. After all, there’s nothing you can do about at this point anyway, right?

And now the 2L. If you didn’t have an amazing 1L year, then you’re probably feeling a lot like you did as a 1L. You’re sitting at home, doing your best to enjoy the company of your relatives, trying to block out all law school-related thoughts. Take heart though: If your colleagues had an amazing 1L year, they probably didn’t work as hard as you did this past semester, so you have a leg up. Also, many schools have a more forgiving curve in their smaller, 2/3L classes, so you’re going to look better no matter what.

As for you 3L students, if you’re anything like me, you’ve already settled into a comfortable state of apathy. Whether you have next year’s employment secured or not, your 3L year will be spent mostly on clinics, papers, and courses with fewer students. You know better than to worry about how your finals turned out because you’ve already done the “worrying” thing 4 times and it’s just not worth the time. So continue to do what I know you’re already doing, enjoying the crap out of the last winter break you’ll ever have in your life.