Good morning guys! I hope your morning is going well! Only one more day until the weekend is here!
Today I have a fun post for you. As you may remember, I started an interview series on my blog where I interview people in different professions/stages of life to learn what it is like to walk in their shoes and hopefully gain a new perspective or some helpful tips! Well today we have an aspiring lawyer, the law student, Morgan Francy (my sister)!
Guys, have I told you how awesome my sister is? I’m sure you have heard me talk about how she was the most amazing maid of honor ever and how we hang out all the time, but guess what? There’s more. She is currently finishing up her first year of law school! To say she is smart is a huge understatement (this girl is at the top of her class). She’s pretty, she’s funny, she’s brilliant, she’s in shape, she has amazing hair, she is always dressed to a T, and she still finds time to make other people feel special. She truly is one of a kind. I thought it would be neat to interview her for the blog to get a taste of what law school is like and also get some tips on how she gets it all done (and done well) while making time for her boyfriend, her son (dog), Otis, her family, and her 10 million friends.
My name is Morgan. I am from Nashville, TN. I went to SMU for undergrad and stayed in Dallas after graduation and worked for the Dallas Stars for a year. Then I made the decision to go back to law school and am currently finishing up my first year. I live with my boyfriend, Max, and my dog, Otis. I don’t have a lot of hobbies right now but if I have free time I am usually at the dog park, hanging out with my friends, watching sports or binge watching Netflix.
What made you decide to go to law school?
Law has always interested me since my dad is an attorney and I think it is interesting how the law shapes our society and the decisions we make. I was looking for a career that would constantly challenge me and allow me to use my skills to help others.
Was your family/boyfriend supportive?
Yes. I think it is really important to have a good support group. It can be a very isolating world in a sense because you do spend a lot of time alone reading and writing so it is good to have a support system to just vent to or get away with.
Tell us what a typical day is like in law school. What time do you get up? Go to bed? How long do you spending studying?
I wake up around 7 and I try to leave the house by 7:45. I spend time in the morning watching TV (sports center) and packing a lunch and snacks for the day and get my books and bag ready for school. Depending on my schedule I typically have 2-3 classes per day starting around 9 or 11. I function a little better in the morning so I try to get to school around 8 to knock some things out and prepare for class. Not all professors are the same, but some of them are what you see on TV where they just call you out so I like to reread my notes before class starts and then in between classes I usually just get a little study room in the library and spend time preparing for the next day or week or summarizing notes from that day’s class. Depending on the day I typically get done with class around 3-5 pm. Some days I need a little mental break around 5 so I will go home and let Otis out and maybe go to the dog park. And other days I stay at school after class and get another study room in the library and sometimes my friends meet me there. I typically spend the rest of the night reading. Max makes dinner and I eat whatever he makes. I continue reading from 7:30 on until I go to bed around 11:30. Closer to finals I stay up later and sometimes I go to bed earlier if I am really tired. After a certain hour I don’t retain information and I function better in the morning so I will choose to get a good night’s sleep.
How many hours do you spend studying on the weekend?
At the beginning of the semester I would usually do a half day on Saturday and on Sunday and closer to finals, I study pretty much all day on the weekends with a few breaks.
What else do you enjoy doing on the weekends?
Hanging out with Taylor and Jon and friends that I don’t get to see often. I spend a lot of time with my law school friends so I try to make time on the weekends for my friends outside of law school. Law school can be a little bit of a bubble so it is nice to hang out with people outside of that world.
How do you manage to eat healthy in law school?
I don’t (all the time). 🙂 The key to it is planning. If you don’t take the time to plan in the morning, you are too busy by 3 pm to worry about it and you will just grab whatever is there whether it is healthy or not. Morning is the best time to plan because you don’t have a lot of stress like you do after class. And I am lucky to have Max so that is fortunate. He makes a lot of meals with leftovers so I have leftovers for lunches so that helps. And I pack a lot of snacks so that I don’t buy something if I am at the library right before dinner because there is nothing healthy at school.
What does a typical day of eats look like for you?
I have a gluten free UDI’s muffin in the morning or honey nut cheerios. I have a cup of OJ with EmergenC and when I get to school I get a Venti coffee. For lunch it just depends on what we had for dinner. I like gluten free pasta because it is easy to take for lunch and a peach cup for dessert. I typically pack an apple and some trail mix for snacks throughout the morning or early afternoon. Max makes a lot of taco meat so ill have a taco salad for lunch because it isn’t too heavy. Then I typically get another cup of coffee in the afternoon before the afternoon classes start. Then dinner just varies. Our most common dinners are gluten free pasta, gluten free pizza, or sweet potatoes. We are also big ice cream people. That is our guilty pleasure. Then I always sprinkle in Amino Energy throughout the day when I get sick of coffee.
Does Max do the grocery shopping and the cooking?
Yes, but we do run into issues because when he does the grocery shopping I don’t always know what we have in the fridge so it is hard to think of what to eat when one person does the grocery shopping.
Do you take any supplements regularly?
No, but I take EmergenC regularly but that is it.
Do you do any type of exercise?
Not right now. I used to so it is definitely doable and helpful in law school, but it is usually the first thing that goes when I am crunched for time.
What are your tips for managing to get everything done and striving for balance in all areas of your life (school, family, friends, etc.)?
I would say planning is the biggest thing. Setting out your week and by making a plan. I will stay up later the night before I hang out with a friend or get up earlier to get everything done. If I don’t have a plan then I will be constantly anxious about when I will get everything done. And I think recognizing that there has to be down time is important. I struggle with that a lot because you feel like you have to constantly be doing something and it sounds weird, but it is important to plan downtime.
What is your number one tip for good health?
I would say a good night’s sleep. Law school is stressful enough and I don’t think your brain functions after a certain point ( I learned this first semester after so many late nights with lots of caffeine).
What will you be doing this summer after you are done with your first year?
I am working at a big firm here in Dallas for 8 weeks and then doing another one week program with another firm.
What advice would you give to those thinking about law school or going back to school?
First I would talk to people who are in the profession because I think it is a really hard and long process and for someone who is already working and has a stable life it is a big change. But when you see people who are in the job you want, it helps to know your goal and understand why you are doing this. Talk to people who are in school because it can be very different from your job or even from undergrad. It is important that you know the expectations going into it and what the requirements are to succeed beforehand. It is a long process, but think about how much more you will know and how much more educated you will be. You will know information that a very limited number of people in the US know, which is really neat.
What is the hardest thing about law school or the biggest shock?
How hard you have to work to do well. I have always done well in school so I didn’t think I would have to work as hard as I have to. It has always been a little bit easier for me (school). Going to class and paying attention used to be enough, but that’s just not enough in law school. That was a big realization for me.
Do you have any idea what type of law you want or do not want to practice when graduate?
I am leaning towards transactional work over litigation. Some people really get a rush from speaking in front of court or fighting against the other party, but I kind of like the idea of collaborating together more so than fighting.
Thank you, Morgan, for taking the time out of your busy day to answer my questions! This interview definitely gave me a good insight to what the life of a law school student is like and what is takes to do well. I am so proud of my sister for finishing up her first year (and doing extremely well) of law school! She is truly an inspiration to us all!