Andrea Ortiz is a 3L at the University of Houston Law Center.
The old adage about law school seems to be true looking back: 1L year, you’re scared to death; 2L year, you’re worked to death; and 3L year, you’re bored to death. But as a 3L student, it doesn’t seem to be that we’re just relaxing and having the best time ever; it’s more likely that we’ve figured out how to manage our time efficiently. Any typical day for me runs from 6 am to approximately 11 pm. My workday starts at 7:30 am in a Greenway Plaza law office where I work as the Head Law Clerk overseeing six other law clerks. Working in a firm has really brought together the theoretical civil procedure learned in class with how it actually works in day-to-day practice. After leaving work at 11:30 am, I head straight to school and hope to find a parking spot. On a related note, I haven’t bought lunch since school started. Almost every day at noon, some student organization is having a presentation and almost always has food.
From there, I venture into the library or the sub-basement for a quiet place to prepare for class. Because I’ve already finished my graduation requirements of taking an upper-level writing class, Professional Responsibility, and a skills course, I’m limited on what I can take because I also have to consider my work schedule. That being said, my classes begin in the afternoon and run from 4:00-9:30 pm. Sometime between lunch and class, I’ll also work on my duties as Managing Editor of the Houston Journal of Health Law & Policy, keeping track of our budget and every candidate’s and editor’s hours.
My first class lasts until 5:20 pm, leaving me a 40-minute break to pop over to the Nook for a large coffee to go. Thankfully, I have an amazing professor – Professor Doug Moll – for my last class, which goes until 9:30 pm. Without his enthusiastic persona and love for the material, I don’t think I’d be able to stay awake. I get home about 9:45 pm and get myself ready for a new day.
If there is one piece of advice I would give myself just starting out as a 1L, it would be not to worry so much about what everyone else is doing and concentrate on doing my best. Not everyone is on the same path. These three years pass quickly and everything will work itself out. Cheers to all my 3Ls out there biding our time until graduation. #3LOL