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How to Be a Top Law Student Rule 1

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Summary: In spite of it all, it’s a fact that most people who attempt law school survive it. Thus, the odds of you surviving are overwhelmingly in your favor.

It is far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat...

-Theodore Roosevelt
Some people might say that getting through law school is like getting to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. Most days it'll be tough-an uphill climb with you puffing, sweating, and choking all the way. Others might say that law school is like running an obstacle course and barely getting over all the hurdles. Still others might say that law school is a jungle where only the fittest survive.
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How to Be a Top Law Student Rule 1
In spite of it all, it's a fact that most people who attempt law school survive it. Thus, the odds of you surviving are overwhelmingly in your favor. You'll succeed if you have gumption, guts, ambition, self-confidence, and daring. And it won't hurt if you're a little bit crazy, too. And, remember that anything worth having is worth working hard for.

In the beginning, there will be days when you'll feel like you're in the "gray twilight." You may even think defeat is inevitable when you find yourself responding to a professor's questions with the proverbial "er, um, huh?" before drawing a complete blank, while the chump next to you is rattling off the facts of the case as if this individual authored the Opinion.

This is normal. It's at this crucial beginning stage that the seeds of self-doubt will begin to plant their ugly roots in your mind, play havoc with your psyche, and upset your ever-so- fragile equilibrium. Whatever you do, don't allow these seeds to germinate. Do not! You're no "poor spirit." You will not "take rank" with anybody but those who move on to 2L, to 3L, and then to graduation. Still, if you're like most law students, your journey may be "checkered by (tiny) failures" like a not- so-good grade in a class for which you studied your heart out. Don't worry. There will be many triumphs worth celebrating-like a good grade, mastering the art of doing an IRAC analysis (see Rule 44), or giving such a great answer in class that not only do you astound the professor and your fellow classmates, but you also shock the pants (literally!) off yourself as well.
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Remember: Every triumph counts. Pat yourself on the back for each job well done-even if nobody else does. And in spite of the tiny failures, never give up striving to be the best law school student you can be.

As Theodore Roosevelt correctly pointed out, "it's far better to dare mighty things" than not to. And make no mistake about it: Getting through law school is a mighty deed to dare and a mighty deed to do. But it's entirely do-able. And it's a lot more do-able if you immerse yourself in it. Go on! The idea isn't to lose yourself completely. Just don't fight every step of the way.
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Think of it this way: You're Jonah. Law school is the whale. One way or another, you're going down into the whale's belly (whether you like it or not). Now, you can go down "whole" and get spit out "whole" three years down the road; or, you can fight the whale, get chewed into pieces, and get spit out in bits three years down the road. What's it going to be?

Click here to read the second rule about how to be a top law student

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