Whoa…We’re Halfway There! Reflections of a Second Semester 2L

zimmermanby Liesel Zimmerman, Class of 2018

There is no feeling quite like finishing your law school exams for the semester, but this time around the feeling is even sweeter: the close of this finals season marks the halfway point for the Class of 2018! We are halfway to being lawyers! (Notwithstanding the Bar Exam, of course, but we’ll worry about that later.)

It is incredible for me to reflect on how far our class has come, and how much we have learned over this past year and a half. This time last December, we had just conquered out first semester of Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, and Torts classes. Our professors taught us the ins-and-outs of the Socratic method by engaging us through cold-calls and open class discussions. In our Legal Practice Classes, we learned to conduct oral reports and client interviews, and we turned in our first Graded Legal Memo. Some of our classmates made the Alternate Dispute Resolution Team or National Trial Team, while others joined the Honor Council and Student Bar Association. Across the board, 1Ls got involved with numerous student organizations at the law school, and began to foster friendships within their Legal Practice Sections.

In the spring, the first-year class came back feeling a little more confident. With one semester under our belts, we had a better idea of how to tackle the new semester of Constitutional Law, Contracts, and Property. During the first few weeks back, some students traveled to West Virginia for the Student Bar Association’s Annual Ski Trip. Some students competed to join the Moot Court Team or the Transactional Team. Students began applying for summer jobs and interviewing with employers, while the Office of Career Services coached us along the way. After finals, the 1Ls stayed for one more week to participate in the Joint Journal Competition in order to be placed on one of the five legal journals. We worked hard to prepare a work product that would show the selection committee our strengths as legal writers, and our diligence was rewarded with positions on our respective journals.

They say that the fall semester of your 2L year is by far the busiest, and I have certainly found that to be true. The new responsibilities that come with being on a journal take a little getting used to, and many 2Ls extern and take on leadership positions within student organizations. Still, we are continuously learning to balance our commitments and budget our time to stay focused on our studies. I have personally enjoyed being able to choose classes that interest me, and to learn alongside 3Ls, as well as my fellow 2Ls.

It has been exciting for us to find our niche within the school, and to be able to pass on war stories and wisdom to the incoming 1L class. But although we’re halfway there, we’ve got a lot left to learn! After seeing how this first year and a half has prepared me and my classmates for our legal careers, I look forward to seeing what the next three semesters have in store for the Class of 2018!

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