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Goal Setting in Law School


If you are like most law students, at some point during law school you will find it difficult to motivate yourself. This might happen after you get your summer job offers. Or, it might happen during your third year when school doesn’t seem to matter any more.

No matter what situation you find yourself in, Gleb Reys has some great golden rules of goal setting that will help.

In my experience, one of the major problems with staying motivate at these times in law school centers on Gleb’s second rule:

Rule 2: Make sure your goal is an absolute necessity

If you think you can go on without having a certain goal, this is probably true. And it’s therefore a very good sign that the goal you’ve chosen isn’t real or isn’t important for you.Unless your goal is something you absolutely must do, there is no point even starting.

Just apply this idea to the two times I mentioned in the first paragraph: after getting job offers for the summer, the third year of law school. During both of these times, getting good grades in school doesn’t seem necessary. Most people go to law school to start a rewarding career. If you feel that the career is already off the ground (i.e. you have job offers), there doesn’t seem to be a reason to study.

The trick, as I see it, is to find another reason why you should study. Perhaps it is no longer what motivated you first year (keep from failing; get a good job). Maybe now you need to look further into the future. Think about the courses you are taking: will they help your practice down the road? If not, perhaps they are simply interesting, in which case you probably want to pay attention anyway.

The main point here is that when you feel a lack of motivation, that might mean it is time to re-assess the nature of the goal. The immediate goal might be the same (get good grades), but maybe the future goal is slightly different. Instead of “get a good job” it is now “enhance knowledge in preparation for practice”.

Do you have any tips or ideas to keep the law school motivation flowing? Please post a comment or drop me a line.

[tags]legal andrew, law school, goal[/tags]

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