COVID-19, The Summer Of 2020, And I’m A Law Student
The COVID-19 pandemic is having significant life-altering effects daily. As a result, the world in flux may cause fear and anxiety for many, especially those who are in the middle of their academic careers. Anyone who just completed their first year of law school and endured the spring of 2020 when the pandemic gained strength, most likely has an endless list of questions and concerns about what the future holds beyond the summer of 2020.
Whether you are a student, professor, partner, associate, legal support staff member, or legal technical professional, the COVID-19 pandemic has had some effect on you. However, as someone with legal training and the substance to have made it to law school, you are resilient and know how to creatively accomplish the task at hand despite the uncertainty wrought by present global events.
If you attend the California Desert Trial Academy, you have the peace of mind of attending a modern 21st Century Law School that excels in the utilization of online and distance learning. While social distancing may affect classroom work to a limited extent, the CDTA’s online learning platform and resources will enable students to continue their legal education with the least possible interference or delay.
Some, but, hopefully, not most law students are inevitably questioning their luck in choosing to attend law school during one of the worst pandemics in modern history, if not just over the last 100 years. There are always those who choose to see the worst in everything.
“The human mind is automatically attracted to the worst possible case, often very inaccurately,” says Martin Seligman, who founded the field of Positive Psychology and runs the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center. “Catastrophizing is an evolutionarily adaptive frame of mind, but it is usually unrealistically negative.”
As a mechanism to refocus the human mind, Seligman suggests a simple exercise called “Put It in Perspective,” which begins by picturing the worst-case scenario, as our minds tend to do initially, then proceeding to the best-case scenario, and then finishing with the most likely scenario. The underlying idea is to redirect irrational thoughts to rational thoughts. Seligman has tested this exercise in many circumstances with many different groups.
Step 1: What is the worst possible situation?
This would likely change depending on age and health. However, even if you are a law student, of any age, the worst scenario would be catching the virus and dying as a result. Perhaps the next worst scenario for a law student would be the inability to continue your legal education for whatever reason, whether from personally contracting the virus or because your law school has suspended operations because of the effects of the pandemic.
Step 2: What is the best possible outcome?
In this part of the exercise, you would surmise that you will not get infected, nor will any of your family members or friends. The pandemic will end, and everything will return to normal. Law school will carry on and the semester will start on schedule.
Step 3: What is most likely to happen?
A most realistic outcome may be that there is a good chance or likelihood that you will eventually get infected, but like most adults, your symptoms will be nonexistent or mild. You will likely just be uncomfortably ill for 7-10 days and then recover. School may be delayed but those law schools that have online, distance learning programs already in place will be able to conduct effective “classroom” instruction.
Step 4: Develop a plan for the most realistic scenario
Rather than wasting time or energy on something that is illogically unlikely to occur, formulating a contingency plan for what may be difficult and challenging circumstances is the better course of action. Of course, any plan is dependent on individual circumstances. Some students may have to consider how the changing circumstances related to their school and employment affect their ability to provide necessities such as childcare, food, and medicine.
The California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) is a 21st Century law school tailored to meet the needs of working people. Any lawyer must study and know the law. We believe that practical experience in tandem with legal knowledge is the best road to a successful, rewarding, and prosperous legal career. At CDTA, we train, educate, and develop students to be exceptional attorneys and trial advocates. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.