Written by Ontario law students
Law school can be stressful and difficult to navigate. Especially when the evaluation methods seem like they pit you against your fellow student to compete for a limited supply of good grades. But we do not have to succumb to that culture. After all, law students know best about what other law students are struggling with. We need to be kinder to ourselves and kinder to each other.
Share your own fears, thoughts and struggles with friends you trust. If talking to a counsellor has worked for you, let your friends know. Everyone needs support in some way or another. Let’s stop pretending or assuming that we can handle everything on our own. Ask for, accept and offer help. Join peer support groups and sign up to be a mentor. Share notes and resources. Make yourself a priority. It is easy to forget that we each contribute stress to our environments; so having a handle on your own well-being will help contribute to a more supportive culture.
We can be more sensitive to the variety of experience in our classrooms and think about how our comments in classrooms may be perceived. People also have different study habits and we can respect the methods that work for other people. As lawyers, much of our work will involve working with diverse clientele and working collaboratively with our colleagues. Developing compassion, collegiality and interpersonal skills while at law school will help us become effective and empathetic advocates.