Navigating Law School Culture

It may seem unusual to be surrounded by so many people with the same career interests, yet feel so alone. The thing is you’re absolutely not alone — many law students feel this way. Law school attracts high achieving students. That desire to excel doesn’t go away once you’re accepted. You’ve probably noticed that the legal education system is not at all like other academic institutions you’ve attended. Because of the grading curve, methods of evaluation and job recruitment processes, law school can bring out anxiety and a belief that a competitive spirit and drive is necessary for success. This can make for a pretty lonely and unsettling experience, but yours doesn’t have to be that way.

I don’t feel like I fit in with my peers

It may feel like many of your classmates have internalized law school culture. They may openly share how much time they spend preparing for classes and when they began compiling their summaries. It’s natural if you begin to question your own study habits and feel the need to hide your vulnerabilities in response. It can feel lonely when those around you appear competitive instead of supportive and collaborative.

  • Do you feel good and comfortable with your peers?
  • If the answer is no, it might be time to seek out new relationships in law school that allow you to be yourself.
  • Create some inner boundaries to buffer yourself from the behaviours and attitudes of others.
  • our relationship with your peers and the roles they play in your life can, to a large extent, be defined by you. And don’t forget your life outside of law school. Your non-law school friends might be just what you need to feel grounded and supported again.