Blog Entry 67

Posted by Meagan Hanna
Meagan Hanna
Meagan is a May 2012 graduate of UDM Law. She was admitted to the Michigan Bar i
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on Friday, 21 October 2011
in Student Blogs

April 18th, 2010
Hello all,

First off, I want to thank those of you who have e-mailed me with your questions and comments. (I should also thank my friends who have had to put up with my excitement upon discovering that people actually read my blog…) 

This weekend has been pretty uninteresting. I’ve been outlining for property, and working on my final assignments for core concepts. I’m pretty excited to get my core concepts assignments done and out of the way (I have a client counseling simulation tomorrow and then a memo due on Wednesday, and then I can check another class off my “to worry about” list) so that my sole focus can be on my three final exams. It feels so weird to have three finals this semester instead of four, especially because torts (the class I no longer have) was a closed book exam (in other words, lots of memorization) and took probably fifty percent of my total final exam studying time. I guess that just means I should be that much more prepared for my other three classes...property, contracts, and civil procedure. 

There were a few questions e-mailed to me that I thought might be beneficial to address in my blog, as opposed to in an individual e-mail. I have posted the questions and my corresponding answers below: 

“You described your first semester, how was the initial adjustment to law school?  About how long did it take to develop some sort of study 'rhythm'? What, if anything would you have done differently starting out?” 

My initial adjustment…I think the biggest hurdle for me to get over was just how long it took me to read anything. I’ve heard it said that learning the law is just like learning a new language (and I’m pretty sure I’ve heard this from more sources than just Legally Blonde…), and it is one of the most true statements I have heard about law school. At the beginning of the year, it took me hours every night to do my reading. I remember thinking during the first week of the semester, “this is going to be a long year…” I think it was probably a good several weeks before I really got a good rhythm down: highlighting the words I didn’t understand, looking them up, and then writing the definitions in the margins. Eventually, the readings got easier, and I got to the point where it no longer took me 3-5 hours for two little reading assignments.

I know I have said this before, but if I could have done anything differently, I would have done a better job of keeping other people out of my head and focusing solely on me and my own habits. I also would have remembered to “just say no.” I’m one of those people who is always willing to help others, and I really hate the feeling of disappointing people. It took me awhile to realize that I can’t do it all, and there were times where I had to just say “sorry, I can’t, I have to study/work/sleep.” Let me just say, for this self-proclaimed super girl, that was one of the most difficult things to adjust to: the fact that I could not give my time as freely as I would have liked. I think having a better realization of this going in would have helped a lot. 

And on to the next question…

“As the first year comes closer to an end, did you do better or worse that you expected?  Better yet, did you have any specific expectations going in?”

Although thus far I only know how I did in six of the thirty credits I have taken this year, I have been pleasantly surprised with myself. It really hasn’t been as difficult or as scary as I thought it would be.

I entered law school with the expectation that my life as I knew it was over. I expected that there would be many late nights, a fair amount of tears, and that I would never have time for my family and friends. I somehow pictured myself flipping the switch and taking myself from a lazy college senior to a nose in the books 1L overnight. I had heard countless horror stories, had read “Law School Confidential” cover to cover, and I hoped beyond hope that my experience would be better than everything I had heard.

When all is close to said and done, I have had many late nights, my fair share of emotional breakdowns…but at the same time, I have also met some amazing people, pushed myself farther than I ever thought possible, and just grown so much on so many different levels. I still have time for the things that are important to me (though admittedly, not as much time as I used to), I actually wish more of my professors would put me on the spot with the Socratic Method, and there are still days where I can indulge my laziness.

Mind you, today is not one of those days…

Keep the e-mails and questions coming! ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

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About the author

Meagan Hanna

Meagan is a May 2012 graduate of UDM Law. She was admitted to the Michigan Bar in November, and she recently joined the Grand Traverse County Prosecutor’s Office as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.

During law school, Meagan was active around the School of Law as the Law Review's Executive Editor of Outside Articles and the Vice-President of the St. Thomas More Society. She participated in the Criminal Trial Clinic, and took advantage of two internships with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and a summer internship with Judge Stephen Murphy of the Eastern District of Michigan.

In her free time, Meagan also serves as a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, enjoys tap dancing, and can't resist reading a good book.

Meagan genuinely enjoyed her time at UDM Law and she is passionate about talking to prospective students about her experience. Please contact the admissions office to obtain her contact information.