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Down time

August 6, 2010

To the recent grads who have just awoken from the deep slumber that usually follows taking the bar exam, congratulations!  Hopefully, after the bar exam(s), you got some sleep and did some celebrating, not necessarily in that order. And so now, the worst is behind you … until result time, but that’s a whole other blog entry.

So now what?  There was a time when this post-bar exam, pre-job start time was viewed as the last time a prospective lawyer would really be able to take some time off before venturing into the long-hour days of the legal field.  Many bar exam takers would take advantage of the few weeks between school and work to take a trip with family and/or friends, something to think fondly of during those late nights in the office.  But times have changed and in this post-recession legal world, many recent law graduates are still unemployed and looking for the right job.  With the tension of finding a job and finding it soon, new job hunters may be tempted to save their relaxation for retirement and just start looking for a job now.  Money may be tight; the loan money that got you through law school is likely running out and if you’re lucky enough to have savings, you may have to dip into that piggy bank.  So understandably, taking time off to relax may seem like a waste of time.  But still, if at all possible, try to take a few days off.

Not only did you survive law school but you also made it through the grueling schedule imposed on you by Barbri or PMBR or the like, or may be you did it on your own (commendable!).  You put in a lot of time over the summer, reading and learning and taking exams.  So even if you’ve already started the job search, you deserve to spend at least some time during the day/week doing something that you enjoy and that’s relaxing to you.  You don’t have to travel the world to make this time memorable.  Spend time with family and friends, go to a Phillies game, go camping with friends (even if it’s a stay-cation in your own backyard), or do whatever makes you decompress and de-stress.  While getting a job should be a priority, you should also make use of this time for yourself because the truth is that once you start working, you’re in it for the long haul and the next vacation may be a little farther away than just around the corner.

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