Reflections from a departing 3L

Allison Collins Dessert

As I write this blog, I have just 33 days left of law school (not that I’m counting). Yes, you can graduate in December of your third year. Be a summer starter — it pays off in many ways. Take a few intersession courses, and voila! You too can be the envy of your class come winter break.

I know the number of days I have left not because I cannot wait for it to be over. I love school. I’d happily hide here forever—especially if they would bring in a coffee bar. I know the number of days left because finishing my law degree will be the single greatest worldly accomplishment of my life.  Society makes a big deal out of high school graduations—more because it’s a rite of passage, I suppose. But this — the earning of my Juris Doctor — is an accomplishment worth savoring. Primarily because of the emotional roller coaster that law school puts you through. It will test not only your intellectual strength but also your belief in yourself. If there is any insecurity or doubt, law school has a way of reaching in, pulling it out and slapping it down on the table — forcing you to face it or be consumed by it. Does this sound dramatic? Well, it is. Like the burning away of anything that will no longer be useful to you.

There will be highs and lows in law school. Enjoy the highs and have perspective about the lows. On the good days, relish your victories. Let them guide you to an area of practice or service that will allow those strengths to shine. There are many different kinds of attorneys and many different ways to help people with your degree. Find the way and the path that brings you satisfaction and joy. Celebrate your fellow classmates’ victories. Do not be intimidated by their greatness, but instead learn from it and draw from it.

On the days when you feel weak, know that you have shown great courage by even stepping foot through the doors of Green Hall. Most people would never put themselves in a position to be challenged the way that you have chosen to be. And with that challenge comes strife. But your perseverance through that strife will give you a strength that could not have come any other way. And that strength is what will make you a fine attorney.

So, farewell Green Hall. Hopefully the fire you put me through produced a little gold.

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist. That is all.
— Oscar Wilde

Allison Collins Desert is a graduating 3L and KU Law Student Ambassador from Lawrence.