Ten Things to Do
While Waiting to Hear
from Law Schools

10.  Read the Chat Boards and blogs.  Some of the threads, interpreting a single letter like soothsayers over the entrails, could be good for a few laughs, or even sympathetic sighs.

9. Read "War and Peace."  Any book with over 1,000 pages is a good start, although you may need several of them.  

8. Eat everything in sight.  Then follow up by either a) rushing to the gym to work it off, b) calling all your friends to wail and moan about how fat you're getting, or c) going shopping for new, larger clothes.

7. Distracting physical labor -- Plowing a field by hand and scrubbing floors manually are good stress-relievers.  So are lifting weights and having sex, but they have more limited time-spans; sooner or later you need something else to do. Don't buy a new computer -- it creates more stress than it relieves.  

6.  Kvetch.  (If you don't know what that means, look it up.  Yeah, it's Yiddish, but it's in my dictionary.  I just checked for you.)  But please kvetch only to each other. I'm busy kvetching about my new computer.  

5.  Watch the complete, six-and-a-half season set of The Sopranos.  Not only will you kill (if you'll pardon the pun) many hours, but you'll learn a lot of Advanced Criminal Procedure.  

4.  Take up a hobby -- something intricate and time-consuming, like making wood inlays or trying to  keep count of presidential candidate "misstatements."  Wine-tasting might be a good choice, easing the stress while increasing your knowledge in a useful area.  

3.  Adopt a puppy.  They're good at distracting you from everything else.  Kittens are only second-best, since there's not nearly as much time-consuming mess to clean up.  

2.  Go Visiting

  • Friends and relatives -- especially those not yet sick of hearing you ask, "Why haven't I heard yet?"  
  • Yosemite National Park.  Then you can ask deep philosophical questions like, "Why can Old Faithful keep perfect time and a whole roomful of admissions staff can't?"

1.  Watch every law-themed movie you can find, including all the John Grishams, the Paper Chase, A Civil Action, Silence of the Lambs, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. With any luck you'll decide you didn't really want to be a lawyer after all.  

I know that some of you have absolutely NO sense of humor at this point in the application process, so I'll also offer

Ten Serious Things to Do While Waiting to Hear from Law Schools

10. Reread my FAQ on "Hold and Wait Lists."  There might be a sentence you haven't memorized yet.  

9. Update your passport — you might want to study abroad, and you'll be so busy that you won't want to take the time out to do this while you're in law school.  

8. Visit law schools — the ones you've been accepted to, to convince yourself you want to attend, and the ones you haven't been accepted to, to convince yourself you don't want to.  

7. Go clothes shopping.  You'll need business dress attire: suits, dress shirts or blouses, shoes, belts, ties and other accessories.  Before you decide that your old wardrobe is good enough, go sit in court one day and look at the lawyers.  If no one's wearing earrings like yours or a jacket with pants that don't match, then you are mistaken.   I mean, just look at these ties I saw in New York! Do you own ties that look like these?


6.  Start making plans-- Where will you live?  Will your significant other find a job there?  Do you need daycare?  How serious was your father when he said, " I'm not paying for this!"  I know you think that you're not going to the law school that you're admitted to now but it never hurts to prepare just in case, and some of the info will apply no matter where you end up.

 5. Educate yourself -- history, sociology, economics, psychology, any background information that relates to law is worth knowing a little more about.  

4.  Study grammar and vocabulary-- I hate to tell you, but you're not nearly as good at it as you think.  All of you.  Even my clients.  

3. Study the Personal Enrichment list; that's a broader and more interesting way of educating yourself.  

2. Start planning your 1L summer job -- Contact any business and professional relatives, former employers and those of your family.  Don't be afraid to say something at a church or a community group to which you belong.  Unless you're at a top-ten law school there will be very few existing job opportunities. If you want one, you'll have to make your own.

1. Read a half-dozen of the books I have posted about law school and the legal profession.  The more you know about what you're getting into, the better off you'll be.

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