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March 3, 2009: Finding happiness through balancing law school and life

Rebecca Emory 

March 3, 2009

Finding happiness through balancing law school and life

Although winter break was short and almost non-existent because of Law Review, I welcomed the more relaxing atmosphere at home.  Also, I finally accepted a summer position at a big law firm in Germany and therefore started the semester without the job-searching anxiety.  The pressure to get amazing grades is less and I can actually enjoy my weekends this semester.

Pace also hosted the International Criminal Court (ICC) Moot in February.  I was part of the planning committee just like last year.  Around nine teams came from the U.S. and Canada.  This year we hosted the regional rounds for North America and sent our finalists to The Hague to compete internationally.  Our judges were well known in the field of international criminal law and international humanitarian law.  The final round judges even flew in from The Hague, Tanzania, and Sierra Leone.  One of the trial chamber justices for the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Pierre Boutet, came especially for the ICC Moot.  Since I worked for him this past summer, I was particularly excited to see him and it was great catching up with him.  I am glad the moot is over because it does take up a good amount of time, but I know that the planning for next year’s moot will start soon and I am excited to be a part of it again.

Besides helping out at the ICC Moot, I have taken it a little easy this semester.  I am taking five classes and writing my Law Review comment (yes, that’s taking it easy for me!).  Spring semester seems a lot shorter than fall semester because of the two breaks we get.  Some students use the breaks to catch up on work; I like to ignore my books and enjoy some quality time outside the law school environment.  This break, I spent time at home in Germany, seeing my friends and family, traveling to Brussels and The Hague, and sleeping a lot.  The week after break, however, was one of the more stressful ones.  In addition to hundreds of pages of reading, we had our second draft of our Law Review comment due.  By Friday afternoon, I was exhausted and ready to sleep for many hours.

I think I finally found a good balance between schoolwork and downtime.  First year, I did not really know what I was doing, I was constantly nervous in class and therefore over-prepared for most classes.  This took up a lot of extra time.  It paid off in the end, but it took a lot more energy than it should have.  Last semester I was worried about the economy and the fruitless job search.  Now, I am still working hard, but I have learned to completely let go and relax on most weekends.  I can charge my battery and be ready for the coming week.  I am much happier.  It took me a long time to figure out what works for me, but I think being happy is the key to balancing law school and life.


Rebecca Emory

2L Day (Class of 2010)

Ratingen, Germany

Undergraduate Degree:  Political Science, George Washington University

Programs: International Criminal Court (ICC) Moot