Key to a Strong Support Network in Law School
Updated: Jul 10, 2023
As law students, we hear about how important professional networking is with industry professionals and lawyers in our dream practice areas. What we don't hear about often is the value of creating a strong support network.
In a previous article, we touched on how law school stokes the fires of toxic competition. The other side of this coin is that its demanding nature also allows us to come together and overcome obstacles with help.
I am now in my final semester of law school after five gruelling years of Laws/Biomedical Science. I proudly attribute my successes to not only myself but to people I have met on my way here. Although it might look different for you, for me this included:
Friends from orientation day
Peers who helped me survive difficult tutorials
Friends of friends from last-minute study sessions and student club meetings
Older students who provided mentorship and shaped my university experience
This article outlines 4 Tips for Building Your Very Own Support Network, regardless of where you are on your law journey.
1. Be open and vulnerable.
Be okay with expressing yourself (and be honest with how you feel). I don’t need to remind you that law school can be stressful at times, but it is not a journey to trek alone. When assignments pile up and final exams approach, reaching out to friends with similar concerns and understanding will help you feel less isolated. It might even spark a study session, collectively empowering you to enter your next law exam feeling confident.
2. Immerse yourself in university life.
Just like your identity goes beyond being a law student, your support network does not need to be limited to law students. As Monash students, we have the privilege of joining over 210 student-run clubs and societies. From social justice clubs to special interest clubs, it is an incredible opportunity to meet a diverse range of students and build like-minded connections.
3. Bolster current relationships.
A key aspect of building a support network for law school is kindling and integrating previous support networks. People who formed your origin story, like family and high school friends, continue to be a strong foundation (almost home base) that you can lean on and return to when law school gets too difficult.
When creating your support network, you should also strive to be a part of other people’s network. It is essential to reciprocate the love and attention you have been shown and to pay it forward. How lucky we are to be surrounded by the next generation of lawyers, businesspeople, politicians and consultants! It’s special knowing that you may have contributed to another student’s journey. Even if you are a first year student, you have lived experience and mentorship to offer to high school students considering Monash Law. Whilst on this journey, remember to be kind to yourself and set boundaries when you don’t have the emotional space to support another individual.
So, my schooling experience has never been like High School Musical, but the phrase “We’re all in this together” has never rang truer than at Monash Law School.
Written by Kani Balamurugan