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I really don't know where to begin on this.


I'm a first year law student having a lot of doubts. I'm just not getting it-I can't focus my attention, I can't wrap my head around half of what's being said, and when I'm 100 percent sure that I'm at least very close to getting something right, it turns out I am so wrong it's pathetic. I study my butt off, don't do anything I shouldn't be doing, and until this point I thought this was what I wanted to do. Now I'm confused, depressed, and scared out of my mine. I used to be a very social person, made friends easily, was very involved in things, was always the first to have his hand up in class, and made terrific grades (my M.A. gpa was three point eight)-now it feels like that person I used to be is just a memory at best, a dream at worst.


What's even worse about all this is that I can't figure out what I could do other than this. I've been in school now going on six years, have loans to pay, and I really cannot think of anything else I want to do or, for that matter, am qualified to do or would be good at. I guess I should add that, when I was younger, I wanted to do something that involved wildlife and working in nature, like a park naturalist. Well, my dad started in on me in high school working hard to get me to decide to do something different, telling me what I loved to do wouldn't make a decent living, etc. I guess at some point I just kind of gave in to what he kept berating me with. Now I'm worried that I may have wasted my life-I see no way to go back and try to do something else financially, and anything else I would be good at or qualified for (a short list), has difficult job prospects anyway. I really feel alone, hopeless, and useless, and I can't see a way out of the dark.


I don't know if anything could be said that would help me. I hope there is...but I just don't know.

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welcome to ENA. I didn't go to law school but i did finish a PhD. I think that EVERY student, at one point or another, feels trapped and wonders 'what did i get myself into? is this the right thing for me?' i'd take a step back and remember the reasons you decided to go to law school. were you pressured? did you have a passion for something? perhaps environmental law? there's a good book called, "I could do anything, if only I knew what it was." or something to that extent. by Barbara Kerr. I would read it and spend some time thinking about what you want to do with your life.


hang in there!!!!

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I agree with Annie.

I would also like to add that I dont' know much about JD program, but I've heard that 1st year is very challenging. Talk to others, go to a counselor. Are there any forums specifically for JD students where you can share concerns, thoughts, and get some insight?

I'm not comparing your program with MD, but having completed mandatory parts of my education with them, I've had those students confide into me about how trapped they felt and how those huge loans made them push their focus back to where it belonged... i.e. to pass every class and do their best in the studies. Its a cut throat competition to get accepted into good specialty. Yes, I also understand about loans. I have friends who had to take out loan for college and then medical/dental school. They kept thinking about those loans. There is nothing you can do about those. Think about those when you get a job, not right now, but I know how you feel.

I suspect that in JD program also its also cut throat competition.

Hang in there! I hope you can really focus on your studies and feel some sense of peace. The pace of these programs is so high that you have no time to look into how you "feel". You have to check your emotions at the door.



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hope this helps. hugs to you. You will be alright, we all feel like we are sailing in unknown, shark-infested waters in 1st year (of any new program). Dont' doubt yourself.

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1L: this is exactly the law school machine doing its job. The first year is plagued with constant doubts and concerns. I know because I am a 2L. The first several months of law school were times when I could not shake the doubt of whether I was doing the right thing for me, and whether I could handle law school/being a lawyer. You are used to being one of the top students around. But as you go up the ladder of academia, the field gets narrower, and you realize you are surrounded by other students who were at the zenith of their undergraduate programs. This is normal. I suggest sticking it out this semester. You will learn a lot about yourself.

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I worked in the legal profession for many years and there were still things I couldn't wrap my brain around after several years. It's not an easy profession to get into, though tv makes is sound easy and glamorous. It's not, it's a lot of writing and logical problem solving along very strict timelines, rubrics, and court rules. It's not for everyone, that's for sure.

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