Ask Kelly Part I

Kelly Kearney is a 1L at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.  She is blogging about the journey of her first year of law school. To search all posts written by her click here or search the Kelly K category on the right hand side. Questions for Kelly? Email with the subject “Ask Kelly” and she will make sure to answer them.

How was the adjustment moving to a new city?

I think moving to a new city is going to be hard no matter how awesome that new place is.  I remember my first week in Chicago, I was determined to find Lakeshore from my apartment and have this glorious run and explore the city.  Unfortunately, I took a few wrong turns, got horribly lost, and quickly realized Chicago is MUCH bigger than Boston and there was no way I would explore it all by foot in one go.  I have essentially gone about my adjustment in pieces since then, because I had to remind myself I wasn’t going to wake up after just a week and feel fully settled.  I have certainly missed my friends in Boston, but I have to say I am surprised at how much I already consider Chicago a home.  It’s completely true that there is something special about the Loyola community – I have already had one professor invite me and other students to Thanksgiving with his family, and I’ve already made some friends that I can’t believe I went so long without.  I think I’m still adjusting, but I’ve met a lot of people here who have helped make it a really fun process.  I think it has been helpful, too, that my roommate is not from the law school so I don’t feel like my life here is only for school purposes.  All in all, it has been tough but extremely rewarding.  I think opportunities for a big move in life can be rare, and it’s really exciting to be able to take the chance!

Do you feel that your degree in Philosophy adequately prepared you to study law?

I feel like philosophy has significantly helped in law school, and you’ll likely find many philosophy majors among your classmates!  The subject matter of philosophy (I studied Heidegger and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, primarily) probably won’t reappear in your textbooks, but I’ve been well prepared for the daunting amount of reading required in law school.  Plus, I find that I am able to read and spot critical points in cases, and am able to work out why something is important, or why some fact mattered.  Philosophy teaches us how to question and really wrestle with difficult material, which you will find really comes in handy in law school.

Do you think it’s possible, with the academic requirements, to go to school, have a job, and a social life?

Regarding work, school, and a social life – yes!  Maybe not every week, but I am generally able to happily balance all three.  Luckily, I have a really great job at Admissions and my coworkers understand my workload and let me study while I’m here (if you’re interested in working, I would suggest a job like this!).  A strong majority of my 1L friends do not work their first year (a handful have part time jobs as paralegals, and about 25 students do law school part time and work full time jobs during the day).  Another great aspect of Loyola is we don’t have Friday classes – 1L’s are encouraged to use this day to study and further adjust to the demands of law school, but 2L’s and 3L’s are encouraged to use Fridays as a way to get in one full day of work, in addition to some part time work throughout the week.  I just had to sit down and figure out what my priorities were to make sure I was happy.  For me, it was doing well in my classes, having time to run, and having time to relax with my friends.  That meant being as efficient as possible with my time studying, so that my breaks to exercise or have fun feel warranted.  I have also really enjoyed living in Lincoln Park with a non-school roommate, as it has provided a welcomed separation of school and home for me.  Like I said, some weeks are really tough, but it’s certainly doable and necessary (and very much encouraged by Loyola staff) to have a life outside of school!

Please feel free to email me with any further questions or concerns.

Kelly Kearney 






This entry was posted in 1L Life, Advice, Kelly K., Life at Loyola, Living in Chicago, Student Life. Bookmark the permalink.