You Want to Be a Law Student: Secrets from the Inside
by Meredith Beeby Edmison, J.D.
You want to do what?!?!
These were the first words out of my husband Mikes
mouth when I informed him of my brilliant master plan
to go back to school. And not just any school. I had
my eye on law school.
What will it take to do this? he asked after
the shock had worn off.
I launched into the speech I had practiced and said
I would have to take this test called the LSAT (kinda
like a college-level ACT from what Ive heard),
apply to the school of my choice by filling out mountains
of paperwork, write a Pulitzer Prize winning essay,
and then wait for the verdict, so to speak. Even to
me this litany of items on my Law School To Do List
seemed overwhelming. I had graduated six years earlier
with a degree in Music Education and had been working
as a music minister ever since. Upon hearing my plan,
there were a few who pointed out that neither my degree
nor my career would be helpful in pursuing a Juris Doctorate.
To the naysayers, I loftily replied that the discipline
I learned in music school would see me through. To myself,
I thought, What am I getting myself into?
With Mikes support, I began the process. The second
I walked out the door of the LSAT testing room, I figured
that my law school career was probably over before it
had even begun. Why hadnt I studied more? College-level
ACT my rearthat test was so hard I was pretty
sure I experienced a brain aneurysm during the exam.
Much to my surprise, my scores came back passable. I
also found people willing to write reference letters,
slaved over the application, and wrote what I hoped
was the essay of a lifetime. The only thing left to
do was wait.
The day I got my acceptance letter from Oklahoma
City University School of Law was one of the proudest
of my lifeI was going to law school! I was so
excited that I made about 30 copies of the letter and
mailed it to all my friends and family. That confident,
happy feeling lasted all the way up to the day I walked
into my first class. There we were--180 nervous, excited,
newbie One-L students about to embark on a fascinating
journey together. I picked a seat, reviewed the materials
we were supposed to have prepared, and waited for our
At 9:00 a.m. on the dot, the door swung open with a
bang, and a tall, imposing woman said, Mr. Williams,
recite Garrett v. Dailey. And stand up. Before
she had even taken two steps in the door, she was grilling
some poor schmuck in the back. And every last one of
us was breathing a sigh of relief that it was not our
Though that first day was quite a shock, I soon found
a rhythm to law school: study, go to class, study, eat
a bite, study, discuss how hard studying was with some
of my classmates, study, see my husband for five minutes,
and study. That first year it wasnt unusual for
me to fall asleep with a law book still clutched in
After surviving the first year of law school, the second
one seemed less stressful, and the third was even better
than the second. In fact, my husband and I even became
parents for the first time at the end of my second year.
A baby added some chaos, but looking back, I would not
have done it any other way. My son, Jack, taught me
something law school could not: some things are just
more important than others, and the rest just has to
After many terrifying low moments, incredible high moments,
and three years of hard work, I joined my classmates
in processing into the auditorium for our law school
graduation. My family and friends were all there to
cheer me on, much like they had during my law school
career. Though school was financially, emotionally,
and scholastically challenging, it is one of the greatest
accomplishments of my life. I
made some great friends, learned a lot about myself
and my persistence, and did something that I was not
100% certain I could.