If you are visiting this site, you’re already taking a step in the right direction! It is clear that you care about your loved one(s) in law school. Law school is a unique experience both for those attending and for those who want to support a student. You don’t need to completely understand the legal experience in order to have a healthy and supportive relationship with your loved one in law school.
Many well-meaning friends and family members like to remind law students that they are intelligent, high achieving and capable. While those attributes may have helped them succeed in the past, law students may feel that they are not smart enough relative to their classmates, especially if their transcript doesn’t reflect their true capabilities. Sometimes, despite their best efforts students still do not obtain the grades or jobs they want. This is because of the unique structure of legal education.
Another common piece of advice offered is that the investment of time and money will pay off – having a law degree will open more doors and provide more opportunities. Family and friends may repeat this to students who worry about finances and grades. Getting through law school is no longer enough to secure a position. Law students are keenly aware of the complex factors that play into getting a job, and for some students these concerns may be valid.
The best way to be supportive is to listen to what the student’s concerns are and ask them how you can best provide them with support. Even though your praise and reassurance come with the best of intentions, your loved ones may feel as though you are telling them that there is no need to feel that way. Acknowledge and validate their feelings. You can also help support them with their self-care.