Legal Practice and Adapting to Life in Law School

by Lindsay Sfekas, Class of 2016

When I decided to attend William & Mary, I knew very little about the Legal Practice Program. During orientation, I learned Legal Practice would be a class that met three times a week to teach me legal writing and the practical skills necessary to be a practicing attorney. I also learned that the twelve other people in my Legal Practice class were called my firm and would be in every other class with me. At first, I was a bit skeptical about being grouped into a firm with 12 other people to attend all my classes.  Honestly, it sounded like a lot of time to spend with 12 random people from the school, but my doubts were extremely unfounded.  My firm-mates have become one of the best parts of my 1L year and has made the adjustment to law school much smoother.

Upon first meeting the people in my firm, I discovered that we were from all different backgrounds and walks of life.  Some people have been out in the working world for many years, some people came to law school straight out of college, one girl is from China, a few other people have lived abroad for various years, a couple students are JAG, one person is an expectant father, some people have already obtained Masters, one person is a mother to four, and two of the students are married to each other!  We are a diverse bunch and when we sat together in a room for the first time during orientation, it seemed like we all had little in common.  It turns out that our differences are what make us such a great and amazing firm!

(L to R) Kaylee Gum and Lindsay Sfekas representing Firm 5 at the Public Service Fund Cornhole tournament.

(L to R) Kaylee Gum and Lindsay Sfekas representing Firm 5 at the Public Service Fund Cornhole tournament.

Though my firm spends plenty of time working hard, we still have a lot of fun together! Our firm first got to know each other over group outings.  We went to eat meals at Mexican and Thai restaurants and some people went to the local winery for a break from studying one weekend.  On Thursday nights, a group of us go to Zumba together for some firm fitness.  Soon, we are going to have a fondue night at the married couple’s house to study for our midterms. We also spend a lot of time snapchatting one another with silly jokes about law school and have given every person in our firm, including our TA and our professors, characters from Harry Potter. Clearly, my firm is incredible. Above is a picture of two of us at a cornhole tournament put on by the school in which we competed.  As we get to become better friends, group activities become less planned and more spontaneous.  In fact, my two closest friends are two of the girls in my firm, and I spend a large amount of my time with them.

My firm has a lot of fun together, but really the most important thing about my firm is that we provide a solid support system for one another.  We help each other out whenever it is needed and that has become so important since starting school.  The first month of law school is hard and it doesn’t seem to get any easier.  I have found it extremely important to surround myself with solid people.  There is a sense within my firm that we are all in this together and that has been so important as we have faced different challenges in this first month. I feel so grateful that William and Mary has the Legal Practice Program that allowed me to come to law school and already have a group of people set in place to provide that support.  The community at William and Mary is truly unique and has been the most helpful part of adjusting to life as a 1L.

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