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How to... be an excellent law student

How to... be an excellent law student

Law student Daniel Miles explains how to be more than a grade point average, and says mental health is more important than HDs and CVs.

Law student Daniel Miles explains how to be more than a grade point average, and says mental health is more important than HDs and CVs.

The ‘Grade Point Average’, or GPA, is something that law students have an intense relationship with. Â

Let’s pretend, for a moment, that my current GPA is a house. Â

Unfortunately, its foundations are shaky and its rent is unpaid. It’s untidy and, frankly, a bit of an embarrassment. It will also prevent me from ever getting a decent job. Potential employers will stroll by and avert their gaze. Instead, they’ll admire the magnificent castles of my colleagues. Â

Perhaps that’s stretching the metaphor a bit too far.

However, the point is this: the GPA is a reality that we must learn to live with - and houses can be improved.

How? Well, I am yet to figure this one out for sure. Here are some thoughts, though:

First, it’s important to remember that your Academic Transcript is not the only thing that matters. Your mental health, for example, is significantly more important than HDs and CVs. Perspective is the key here.

Second, it’s okay to fail. I mean this literally. Doing badly in a subject does not equal the end of the world. This is something I know from experience. Rather than wallowing in self-pity and kissing your fancy Boston Legal dreams goodbye, embrace it and figure out what you can do better.

It’s also important to get busy. In my experience, the more you are involved in Uni, the more fulfilling it is. So, do some competitions, get on a committee, go on a camp or enjoy a pub crawl responsibly. In doing so, you will meet some fantastic people. Even more fantastic is that they’re jumping the same hurdles as you. Help them over one and they’ll help you. Â

This being said, keep balance in mind. Have a day off, too. Tune out of the law sometimes: it’s not going to leave you. Pursue some other interests. Watch some TV or do some leisure reading. Listen to some music or write some nonsense for a website. Whatever you do, it’s vital to let your mind wander sometimes. Â

Most importantly, know that your best is all you can do. Law School is a long journey. It’s sometimes painful but usually interesting and a great deal of fun. With perseverance and a little bit of hard work, it is easy to turn that GPA house into a home.

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How to... be an excellent law student
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