Basically, it's pretty wonderful (that might be the first time I've ever used "wonderful" in a sentence referring to law school). 1L and 2L law students: there is hope! This year I have three main law school commitments: (1) class, (2) my Law Review Board position and (3) tutoring for the Legal Writing Center.
As for class, I'm taking 12 hours... three classes I'm really enjoying, and one class that I'm just kind of suffering through (it isn't what I expected going in, and I don't particularly like the professor's teaching style, and there is SO much assigned reading). But here's the important part: I'm not stressing about them. At this point, I already have a job lined up, so basically I just need to avoid falling drastically in the class rankings/GPA. Because I have so many hours on my transcript already, this year can't hurt my GPA too much, and even if I make lower grades in everything than I ever have before, I think I'd still be okay employment-wise. Such a large weight off my shoulders!
Sometimes I don't read for class until after class already happened. Sometimes I skim things. I don't feel guilty about it because I'm replacing all that class-stressing-time with quality time with my husband, or quality DIY/blogging/cooking time. I honestly don't know how much of that sort of quality time I'll get once I start working, so I'm taking advantage of it now.
As for Law Review, it's still a decently large time commitment, but I'm loving it (and that is the first time I've ever used "Law Review" and "loving" in the same sentence). All 36 of the 2L Law Review members have to write a 60-80 page casenote or comment, and the best 12 get published next year (we publish a few student pieces and a few professional pieces in each issue). My position is the Chief Notes & Comments Editor, which means I'm in charge of organizing the whole 2L writing process. I have a Senior Notes & Comments Editor (he's like the Vice President of the Notes & Comments department) and eight regular Notes & Comments Editors to help me, so it's not like I have to do a ton of stuff on my own, and I'm really enjoying coordinating everything.
The 2Ls turned in their Topic Proposals on Monday, and they're SO interesting! I'm having such fun working with them all. I meet with 2Ls one-on-one quite a bit (there are 36 of them, so that takes quite a bit of time), and I love it. I have a big jar of lollipops on my desk, and I'm working on getting my office all set up with some decor and stuff. The best part? I'm no longer involved in the nitty-gritty editing stuff that I hated so much last year. No more combing through endless footnotes, no more driving all over Houston in search of a Senate debate transcript from 1884, and no more spending seven hours on one teeny tiny detail. Thank God that's over. Oh, and the paper I wrote last year is being published in November. I'm finishing up the last round of author edits this week! Basically, I'm so much happier in my Board position than I ever was as a 2L editor, and I'm actually enjoying Law Review (crazy, right?).
As for the Legal Writing Center, I'm really enjoying that too. There are five tutors, and we're all 3Ls on Law Review (so we're all friends already). Between the five of us, we staff the Center during business hours Monday-Thursday, but I only have to work five hours each week. We work mostly with 1Ls and foreign students on their writing/legal citation/case reading/etc., and I just read for class or work on Law Review stuff when there aren't any students coming in. It's pretty much awesome.
It still sounds like I'm doing a lot, but I can't stress how much less (and how much more pleasant) it is than it has been in the past. During the first week of school, I took three naps in the afternoons. That NEVER happens. I've been having fun with Jeff and having a life outside of law school, and actually cooking dinner a lot, and I love it. I've tried out five new recipes in the last two days!
I'm so excited that this year is shaping up to be better than the last two. 1L was awful, and 2L was just crazy-busy and stressful, and the entire time people kept telling me that it would get better, and guess what? It does. Such an answer to prayers.
So that's 3L year so far. It's kind of amazing. Oh, and I found out on Monday that I passed the MPRE, so everything is pretty much going the way I want it to (that never happens! haha!). Now I just have to finish up and graduate!