Sunday, May 2, 2021

Run Your Race

The first Saturday in May is must watch TV every year.  The fastest 2 minutes in sports.  The Run for the Roses.  The iconic Kentucky Derby.  Everyone in my house listens to the analysts for the hour leading up to the race, and then, we choose who to root for.  For 2 minutes, we jump, scream, and cheer on our chosen horse.  Most years, one of my kids picks the winner.  It is always fun, and the last few years made me think of our students.

This year, the winner was a front running horse.  He got to the lead early and held it the entire race.  They kept saying he has never been passed in a race, and he wasn't last Saturday.  However, I have seen many front runners tire out and lose.  I have seen horses in the middle of the pack win and horses come from nearly last (Street Sense).  The winners are the ones who run their race not letting the other horses dictate their strategy.  We should all understand that running our own race is the best strategy.

I know many students are studying for finals right now.  Let me overemphasize, run your race.  Don't worry about what your friends are doing.  They may be doing something that is incorrect or not the best for you.  Don't worry about what the upper class students say.  Think about what works best for you, and discuss your strategy with an Academic Support Professional.  He/She can tell you if your strategy will put you in a good position to succeed.

Also, run your own law school career race.  Don't worry about someone else's CALI/Am Jur awards or class rank after first semester, year, etc.  I see students start at the top and slide down the rankings over 2 years.  I also see students start near the bottom of the class and climb their way up.  Everyone has a different background and knowledge base walking into law school.  Run your race to do your best.  Keep improving on your best, not worried about what others are doing.

I understand the anxiety of asking whether you are doing enough and seeking information.  I am not saying ignore feedback or outside information.  I am saying get feedback from faculty and staff at the law school that can help you do what is best for you.  Stay on your pace to do your best.  Do what is best for you on these upcoming finals.  Good luck.

(Steven Foster)

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