Since its inception, law school has been an endeavor comparable to few others. Success in law school requires long hours of studying, development of a unique skill set, and an ability to figure things out for yourself. The modern age has brought new challenges for today’s law students who are often balancing law school with financial responsibilities and familial obligations. In addition to these challenges, non-traditional law students, including women of color, are paving the way for themselves.
There is no greater work than breaking generational curses. It is both a privilege and a responsibility; it is a beautiful struggle to answer that calling. It is disheartening that most women of color often lack the support they deserve. We are at the heart of our families and communities. Unfortunately, this can translate into us putting our needs on the backburner. When pursuing an undertaking such as law school, it is important to do so mindfully. Here are three simple tips to guide you as you navigate your journey.
1. Take care of yourself.
If there was ever a time to be selfish, it is now. Learn how to say “no” and set boundaries when needed. To succeed, law school has to be a priority; but prioritizing your wellbeing is essential to your academic success. Incorporate wellness into your routine- in daily practices such as meditation and journaling, and by using healthy coping mechanisms. If you don’t make the effort to do so ahead of time, you will be ill-equipped to handle the inevitable overwhelm.
2. Build a solid foundation in your studies.
No matter what stage you are in your law school journey, the best thing you can do to set yourself up for success academically is to build a solid foundation in your studies. Building a solid foundation requires developing foundational skills such as outlining and analyzing, and, most importantly, managing your time effectively and efficiently. There will be some trial and error. It will take time to determine which study strategies work best for you and when you need to start preparing for exams. It will also take practice to develop the legal skills you need and your own writing style. Don’t pressure yourself to figure it all out right away. Instead, focus on doing the work without shortcuts. Over time, the skills will come.
3. Find your community.
You shouldn’t navigate this journey on your own. It takes a village. Go out of your way to build a community that understands you and supports you. You will need people whose advice you trust, whose words bring you solace, and who just get it. Take some time to consider what support you need and what resources are available to you. Joining the National Womxn of Color Collective is a great start!
Tutor In Law was founded with the intention of helping to level the playing field for non-traditional law students, such as women of color. We offer accessible and affordable tutoring services for law students including private and group tutoring, outlines, workshops, and more. We offer discounts to women of color and single mothers. Use code RESILIENT to get 15% off our offerings.
Are you part of a student organization at your law school? We would love to collaborate with you! Send us an email at email@example.com.
About the Author - Mahliya Montgomery, J.D.
Mahliya has been tutoring law students for the past five years. After graduating magna cum laude from Lincoln Law School of Sacramento in 2020, she expanded her tutoring business to help level the playing field for non-traditional law students. She is passionate about serving women of color in the legal field. When she is not serving non-traditional law students, she spends her time homeschooling her daughters and enjoying a slow-paced life.