Goodbye 3L, Hello 4L: How Law School Is A Mirror [VIDEO]
Updated: Apr 11
Hello all you Beautiful Law School Students:
3L has flown by so quickly that it all feels like a dream.
I bet you've been wondering where I've been.... or not. :)
2022 was an eventful year for me personally, professionally, and spiritually.
2022 felt like the world was finally leaving the pandemic mindset and re-entering into normal life again. I published four books in 2022. Check them out here.
I took three different courses at different schools online: ESG/Corporate Governance as U.C. Berkeley Law, Impact Investing at Harvard Business School, and Corporate Governance at Cornell Law School.
I was still coaching some fantastic professionals and finally hung up my hat and retired from executive coaching once and for all to turn my focus on the law and what it means for the next leg of my professional journey.
I took civil procedure, evidence, professional responsibility, and constitutional law in 3L. I studied, on average, 5 hours per day, 5 days per week. Some days were more than others. I continued to work with my tutor, Scott Caron, who has a new website that I feel is worth plugging (Disclaimer: I receive no benefits or money for this shout out). Scott was a comfort to me. While he didn't hold my hand or do any of the heavy lifting for me, he acted as my study coach and helped me with essay examination strategy immensely. Not to mention, he helped make understanding the substantive laws a breeze.
I ramped up my volunteering efforts in my community once I retired from coaching. I serve as a non-profit school board director and have had such a pleasure serving teachers, parents, and most importantly students. I've taken everything I have learned from law school and the other legal programs and poured it into my community service efforts. I find that this process of applying what I learn for the benefit of someone else has been the most rewarding of all.
I am an older student and have ventured into an adult career and family life for many years beyond the average student. I find that my life and career experience has influenced how I perceive law school - the ups and downs, the positives and the negatives, and how far legal education has to go in helping shape the new lawyers of the world. I do not feel that law school prepares young adults (often 23 to 27 years old) for heavy hitting issues that clients face - child abuse, domestic violence, psychological imbalances, murder, crime, racism, poverty, just to name a few. It's actually alarming because, as an executive coach who has coached lawyers in some of the most high profile or devastating legal cases in American legal history, I can tell you that having psychological resilience is critical to enduring success. I've actually found that law school can degrade mental health more than bolster it.
Which brings me to my main point: I had an intense and extensive conversation with a law school student recently. They raised important issues that law school fails to help their adult students manage: family life, work-life balance, emotional mastery, spiritual well-being, and financial stability.
After this long conversation and personal reflection, I have found that law school is a mirror. It is a mirror that reveals to you your own psychological state. It shows you how you handle stress, how you perceive your own capacities, manage change and face uncertainty, deal with the actions of others, and, most importantly, law school shows you how you see your self. That is, your own self-concept: who you think you are, what you think you are capable of doing, and what you believe your life is supposed to be like.
If you do not master your self in law school, I can tell you that it won't get any better once you get your degree and pass the bar. You really have to think about how you want your life to look like and, most importantly, feel like, going forward.
With that said, I highly recommend focusing on your spiritual well-being and prioritizing your inner world. That is, how you feel on a consistent basis. If you are at peace at all times, then nothing happening in the world can stop you. But, if you feel inner conflict, turmoil, confusion, restlessness, and anxiety, being the smartest, cleverest lawyer won't help you either. I know this from experience in coaching lawyers in publicly traded companies who have made millions of dollars and yet, can't buy happiness, peace, and unconditional love.
If you don't know how to get the things that money can't buy, a career in law won't help you achieve any of them.
That has been my greatest takeaway.
It's no surprise that I'm not in law for the money. I have plenty of my own and feel a connection to an eternal supply through my own spiritual faith that sustains me. I had to really think about why I started law school if it wasn't for prestige, money, power, and connections. It took me several years throughout this process to come to an answer... but I found it in meditation and reflection.
The great mystic, Neville Goddard, once said that our biases and prejudices cannot stand in the light of enlightened reason. Truth dissolves the nothingness of deception. I have found, after reading hundreds of cases through the years, that progress in the law occurs when men and women allow themselves to be agents of truth - to speak it, to bring it before the court, and to share it with others. Truth is self-evident. It needs no defenders or protectors. Truth is the force of enlightened change. I love how the law and the practice of the law is the exploration, a meditation, and communication of the truth. That, no matter how hard people will try to use the law to subjugate, control, enslave, and manipulate the world, that they will ultimately fail because truth always prevails.
Enlightened reason. To me, the practice of law, is walking, talking, and living in the path of enlightened reason.
I don't have clear career plans. Everyone keeps asking me. I like what I'm doing now which is serving in the non-profit educational space in corporate governance. Seeing children, parents, and teachers grow makes my heart swell. Teaching kids how to debate, reason, and express themselves to achieve goals and expand their worlds. I've always enjoyed that aspect in adult education. Perhaps, I'm just doing what I've always done, just expanded.
In 4L, you can expect to find outlines on wills/trusts, community property, and administrative law. I'm taking a legal writing course as well as studying with Scott Caron on performance examinations for the bar. Scott recommends that I take a bar prep course for the 3 months after graduation when I intend to take the California Bar in July 2024.
These are my updates. I wish you well in your law school journey.
May the rest of your life be the best of your life.