Before law school, prospective students are told the 1L year is the hardest year. That wasn’t the case for me.

Fall Semester

In July 0f 2023, my wife and I had our first baby. Watching our child grow has been one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences of my life. Having a baby also provided unique experiences of learning how to juggle law school and being a good husband and father. My focus was split; I always wanted to be home to stay around the family, but felt a near equal obligation to the academic world. The desire to receive good grades was fighting with the desire of seeing my family.

The excitement of having a new family was disrupted somewhat with anxiety. Complications with maintaining the Law Schoolers website caused a level of stress that strained my mental capacity to a near breaking point.

These two life altering events took a significant toll of my academic life. I studied less often and studied less efficiently. My pattern for studying fell apart. I struggled to get podcast episodes done on time and failed to complete some of my notes before the final. Even now, notes for Ethics and Constitutional Law II are incomplete and non course has a completed podcast associated with all the material.

Near the end of the semester, I finally kicked it into gear. I studied hard for the finals and achieved decent grades. They were not perfect, but better than I had anticipated all things considered.

Spring Semester

Winter break was my redemption period. I rested and mentally recovered from the previous semester. I set plans and made goals for the upcoming semester and was ready to get things rolling. Finally, I committed myself to keeping up with the course notes, outlines, and podcast episodes.

I failed miserably.

A few weeks in I had fallen behind on readings for a couple of courses. Still, I felt better than I did during the fall semester. This time, I successfully updated the material I did keep up with. Although I was falling behind on some of the material, my spirits were high and energy was flowing into my studies. Maybe too much so. There were several times where I stayed late studying and my wife asked me why I had less time this semester than the previous semester. The honest answer is that I didn’t study very much during the fall semester and was trying to do better this semester.

By this point I had reworked a pattern where I could care for my family and still study. I was not perfect, but I was learning. The practice and change paid off. As a result, I was exhausted but received good grades.

Overcoming Challenges

My 2L year was harder than my 1L year. The lack in structure negatively affected me. Positive and negative emotions from my experiences plagued my study habits. Exhaustion started to set in. With these challenges, I put my trust in God who helped me see the material in ways I could understand and helped me make logical rather than emotional study decisions.


I hope by sharing these results other law students will be inspired to work through the good and bad times. These only show courses that have a grade associated with completion (activities such as Moot Court Board receive credit but are not graded so those activities are not included here). 2/3rds done!

Categories: 2L Student Life

Will Laursen

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