Don’t Freak Out, It’s Only Law School.

It’s exam time again. The pressure is on – yet again.

Don’t freak out, it’s only law school.

Hahahahaha or should I say Muwhahahahaha

I know what you are thinking: ‘he is either a masochist or former law student” – some would say they are the one and the same. Only a lover of pain would not only sign up for law school, endure it and then engage in a career as a lawyer.


Well, am I?


I did sign up for law school, I did endure it and I am attempting to engage in a career as a lawyer – ‘so you are a masochist.’

“Smile, chuckle, maybe even laugh.”

Masochist. I would not put it that way, well sometimes I did, I guess sometimes I still do. And I am sure that this time of the year many of you are doing the same. Why else would you sign up to endure such stress only to later endure some more.

Why, indeed?

This question as simple as it is, is fundamental to why you are doing what you are doing right now – law school and law school exams.

I don’t have a specific answer for you. Sorry. The answer to this question is as individual as each of you reading this post – and for many will change over time, for some from moment to moment, situation to situation.

The key however is that you have an answer – what is it?

Go ahead, ask yourself.


You don’t have to explain your answer to me or anyone else – with the exception of yourself. But the key is that you have an answer, well at least I hope you have an answer and for the vast majority of you I think you would.

For those of you that don’t have an answer or least think you don’t have an answer I encourage you to take a moment and just think about it – it is very important.

Ask yourself: why do I want to be a lawyer?

Go ahead, ask.

Just note that there is no model answer, and for many there is more than one.

Your answer does not have to be as high minded as: ‘I want to change the world’ – to borrow a phase from the hit sitcom Seinfeld: “not that there’s anything wrong with that.” Or has self-interested as: “I want money, power and respect” – not that there’s anything wrong with that either.

Your answer doesn’t even have to be as specific as: “as a child and now as an adult, I always disliked the felling of aimlessness and helplessness and becoming a lawyer would give me a sense of purpose and self-empowerment – there is definitely nothing wrong with that.

Or it may indeed turn out to be true that you are a masochist and your answer is: “I enjoy pain” – I express no opinion either way; c’est la vie.

The key, as I keep saying is that you have an answer.

So go ahead ask yourself; why do I want to be a lawyer?


Now, if you still don’t have an answer, I am worried, very worried and more importantly you should be worried too. And here’s why? You have set yourself up for potential failure. Without having and knowing a reason to endure it will be all too easy to give up or if you do some how manage to muddle through it will be easy to settle for mediocrity.

Please, Please, go find your reason. End of semester exams will soon become the least of your worries. Finding articling, Bar exams, actually doing articling, and retention based evaluations will be upon you all too soon.

For those who already have a reason and for those don’t but want to have a reason, it is the key as I keep saying. But the key to what?

It is the key to your success. It is your bedrock, your fortress, your sanctuary. It is that place in the mind where you retreat, re-group and re-energize yourself, be it for end of semester exams or the soon to come Bar Ads or an associate retention evaluation.

Yes it is exam time again. Yes the pressure is on – yet again.

Don’t freak out, you have reason to endure law school and more.


Note:  Law is Cool will be slowing down during exam times.  This means we will be posting less frequently, and it might take a longer time for your comments to be approved.  Thank you for your patience.