Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Jordan Rothman (The Rothman Law Firm, New York & New Jersey), I Wish I Partied More In Law School:
Law school often gets portrayed as a time when people need to be focused on their studies and cannot have fun with their classmates. This perception is reinforced by movies like The Paper Chase, which depict law students buried in their studies with little chance to cut loose and have fun. However, law school can be an amazing time to have fun and socialize (when law students are not dealing with a pandemic, of course). Such social connections can be extremely helpful to law students in their future careers, in some cases, more helpful than some of the information they learn in law school classes. ...
I did not prioritize socializing to any large extent, and mostly kept to a tight group of friends in law school. I thought there was no need to actively socialize and meet as many people as possible in law school, so I did not devote too much energy to socializing and making connections. I thought that getting good grades would be the way that I would make the most of law school, and I devoted most of my time and efforts as a law student to my studies.
However, now that I have been practicing law for almost a decade, I see that social connections, especially with other lawyers, is very important to one’s career as a lawyer. Grades are important for your first job out of law school and may play a part in subsequent hiring. However, as you progress in your career, grades matter less to employers since you have a body of work upon which employers can evaluate your lawyering. Nevertheless, social connections, such as friendships forged in law school, can play a part in hiring decisions because people can “put in a good word” for you and help improve your chances of being hired.