While reflecting on our time writing this column, it became clear that we have not addressed an important aspect of our lives and future legal careers: We are women in the law. Obviously, the legal field has historically been dominated by men, and usually those who are well-off. In our time in law school we have seen a growing movement of greater diversity in the field, paving the way for different groups of people to make their mark in the profession and on the legal landscape.
Despite our continued interest in litigation, we are here to report that we certainly like what we have found in and are open to future possibilities in alternative dispute resolution. We have also come to recognize that just because our interests lean toward litigation does not mean that we will not encounter and utilize skills such as negotiating that maybe are not seen as being traditionally within a litigator’s area of expertise.
It might be hard to believe, but this month brings the start of our third and final year of law school at Indiana University Maurer School of Law. The readers of this column have loyally been with us since the spring semester of our 1L year, and we have grown so much through writing on a variety of topics that we explored and encountered during our time as students of the law. In this column, we will reflect on our time in law school and set goals for our year to come. We plan to make it the best one yet.
As time has passed, professors have moved away from the harsh classroom environment, as seen in “The Paper Chase,” and moved toward a more supportive and educational classroom setting. Along with that change, law schools have begun to place a significant value on experiential learning.
Judges are making unlikely appearances, taking the leap from the courtroom to the silver screen — most notoriously, United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But what are the consequences when those charged with making decisions that shape society become pop culture icons?
As 2Ls who recently, and very thankfully, came out of a challenging season of firm recruitment successfully, a small fraction of that stress is no longer weighing on us, but that does not change the overall mental health landscape typical of law school. Beyond that, the workplace culture that we will enter upon graduating and passing the bar is nearly guaranteed to continue that cycle.
Along with a full course load, leadership positions on the executive boards of student organizations, moot court, journals with endless cite-checking assignments and other time-consuming obligations, one thing is common among top priorities for rising 2Ls: the job search.
This semester, we are working with our classmates through the Indiana University Maurer School of Law’s Access to Justice Program to assess the legal needs low income and underrepresented Hoosiers face in their daily lives.
One of the most common responses we have seen from current law students is a zero-tolerance policy for instances of sexual misconduct. As the culture has changed in the last few months nationwide about the topic, it has invaded the law school, so far as being part of a few exam fact patterns.