Life as a Third-Year Law Student: Bar Prep, Job Searching, and Managing it all

by Jesse Haller, Washburn Student Bar Association President

Jesse HallerAs I began my third year, I told myself to take it easy and try not to sign up for everything I came across. It is difficult because there is a constant onslaught of opportunities at Washburn Law to attend speaking events and gain legal experience outside the classroom. As it stands, I have to manage my time carefully between my classes and study time for classes, my paid internship at HMS, Inc., my clinic internship at the Small Business and Nonprofit Transactional clinic, and my duties as President of the Washburn Student Bar Association. Despite these things, I still manage to find time to hang out with friends during the week, such as when we law students assemble at the Burger Stand each Thursday for trivia. Yeah, we dominate…

I also find plenty of time for myself, such as going to the Shunga trail with my dog, watching a movie every once in a while, or traveling home to see my parents for the weekend. Basically, it all comes down to time management. I have to admit the first few weeks of the semester were pretty stressful, but once I adjusted to the schedule everything seemed to fall into place. The key I found is to set up a good system and then let it do the work for you. A little reliance on my electronic calendar goes a long way to reduce stress because I do not have to remember a thousand things each week.

Now that the fall is coming closer to an end and I look to the spring and what comes after, I cannot help but be a little nervous. I have been applying for jobs to Federal agencies since August (they take forever to respond) and have done some on-campus interviewing. I am lucky enough to have my current paid job until after I pass the bar, which is a relief. However, employment as an attorney for this company is uncertain.

As for the Bar, I am planning on using the resources Washburn Law offers as well as Barbri to prepare for the exam. I kept hearing from the third-year students this spring that they were going to begin as soon as finals were over in May. As the summer passed, I could see the tension and the hustle to get the knowledge down. It was kind of like watching someone in line in front of you putting on the bungee cord and then facing you as they leapt. Soon it will be my turn to step up to the ledge and take the plunge…