Defining Your Purpose to Integrate Your Studies
By Daniel June
Legal studies are similar to any body of study: though your professors provide their material in the most integrated format possible, the material is in fact quite dispersive, even within one course, let alone across three years and various courses taught by different professors. That is to be expected. Your situation is a bit like the med students. A medical student ceases to be a mere resident and graduates into his MD when he can start to integrate his materials, when he sees connections between series of symptoms. After enough experience, he will be able to eyeball a case and his intuition lead him to a proper diagnosis. The same, of course, happens with all professions, with lawyers.
As a student, you can use this integrative process to your advantage, for though it takes a little extra work to integrate your notes, it is worth the extra time. What you will need above all is a sense of purpose. Make it explicit to yourself what you want in a legal profession. Such materialistic contributions such as money and prestige are never the ultimate reasons for any profession. Every career is a calling, every one is going to expect certain skills, your raw talent, and that is the ultimate reason anybody chooses any career.
Define your purpose as narrowly and exactly as possible. Who do you want to work with and why? What do you expect to do? What accomplish? What achieve? By making this vision as clear and definite as possible, you will start to see your classes in terms of your purpose. The information will fall into place, and you will have a sense of why you are learning the facts. It is not merely to pass the bar or to get a job, not to get the right grades, meet the right people. It is about power. It is about empowering you to do something that will require most of your effort, focus, and care for the rest of your life.
Your career, after all, is what will take the most heart for the rest of your life. Career and family are the big two that situate a man or woman and determine the tone of their life. Having defined your purpose, your reason for being what you are becoming, will assure you that it is worth all the effort you are putting into it, and will also give you the hope you will need to sustain you before you start finding the work you are actually interested in.
Realism is the mark of maturity, but the wisest people are those not who give up their dreams in the face of reality, but who realize their dreams. Realizing them means finding out how they really fit into the world as it is. Having your purpose in mind, your vision, will empower you to realize your hopes.