At times, your 1L year can be overwhelming. As such, advice from those who have experienced it is invaluable. Mentorship opportunities have made my first year of law school much smoother and more fulfilling. I want to share five mentorship opportunities to take advantage of during your 1L year:
1. Official mentorship
At the beginning of my fall semester, the Career Services Office matched interested students with mentor attorneys from the community. I received three mentors and have enjoyed learning about their careers and daily work lives in their respective fields. All three taught me about careers that I did not even know existed, allowing me to further explore my own future. Additionally, they have introduced me to other attorneys in the community that share similar interests.
2. KU faculty
One thing that continually impresses me is my professors’ availability and willingness to meet outside of class to discuss course material, answer questions and share career advice. Professors and other faculty have helped tremendously in providing guidance on career options, extracurricular involvement, course offerings and general methods to succeed in law school.
3. Older students
Formally and informally, 2Ls and 3Ls are a great resource for learning about class preparation and summer internship options. My 1L small section has two Dean’s Fellows, Sarah and Jacob, who give us advice, motivate us and answer our questions that we don’t want to ask anybody else. Both peers have helped greatly in teaching me about exam preparation, outlining and managing study time effectively.
4. Informal mentorship
Some of the best guidance that I have received in law school has been through attorneys who I met outside of law school through previous jobs, family friends and mutual connections. At the end of my first semester of law school, my Lawyering Skills professor challenged each of us to reach out to an attorney who we know over winter break and ask them to meet for coffee. I accepted that challenge and met with a couple of attorneys in Kansas City. It was a helpful experience both in learning about career opportunities and growing my network.
5. My classmates
Finally, I learned an incredible amount from my classmates during my first year of law school. Each of us came to KU Law with unique backgrounds and perspectives, and we all have something to contribute and teach each other. A large portion of my time is spent with my small section, so being surrounded by encouraging, supportive and interesting peers has been a crucial part of staying afloat during my first year of law school.
-By Karlie Bischoff, a 1L from Kansas City and KU Law Student Ambassador