Dominic Woolery

March

March brought great news as well as a much-needed vacation. I received an offer for a summer internship at Carney Badley Spellman. I got the internship through the LEAD-WA program, where I had to interview with multiple employers in a single day. It was extremely taxing, but I am so grateful to see it pay off like this. I am really excited to get to work this summer and make a valuable contribution to the firm, as well as soak up all of the knowledge I can.

I also got to take a trip to the Philippines during spring break. My cousin got married there, so it was awesome to get to go with a bunch of family and friends. The timing with the wedding being during my spring break couldn’t have been better timing. The entire experience was amazing and I am excited for the next time I go. My favorite experience of the trip was canyoneering at Kawasan Falls. I highly recommend looking it up on Youtube.

February

February has been a pretty good month for me. I feel like I am really starting to settle into my routine of what I need to do everyday. Classes are going well, as always they are keeping me busy. I foolishly thought that this semester might be a little easier for me because I only have 3 finals, as opposed to the 5 I had last semester. The workload, however, remains the same and I am still required to put in the same long days required in first semester.

My intramural basketball team composed of fellow law students made it to the championship game. We will play for the championship next week. I am hoping we can get the win. I also continue to play at the Seattle U rec every Friday. Playing basketball has been a great stress relief and a really good opportunity to take a break from the grind of law school.

Looking forward, I am just about halfway done with this semester. Again, I can’t stress how fast time flies in law school. It is pretty amazing that I will soon be done with my first year. At the same time, that is scary because it means finals are coming up!

December/January

With Christmas break over, it’s back to the grind! It was definitely nice to have those weeks off to decompress from finals and not have to worry too much about school. Finals went pretty well for me and I am feeling good about things. I am admittedly a little frustrated with the fact that I think I could have done even better were it not for dumb mistakes on my part; I need to slow down sometimes! I think I have found good study habits and what works for me in terms of preparing for class and taking final exams. One thing I am changing for this semester is the way that I approach homework assignments. Instead of just focusing on the assignment on its own, I am attempting to understand how that particular subject/rule affects the law at a macro level. I hope to be better prepared for my final exam by doing this and trying to anticipate how this subject/rule might rear its ugly head on a test.

One thing I am enjoying about this semester is my level of comfort with my classmates and professors. Having established relationships takes the nervousness out of a lot of situations and allows me focus on what is important as opposed to feeling anxious I might get called on. I am also hoping to get a little more involved with student organizations this semester. First semester, I was weary getting too involved would take away from my studies, but I think I am now well equipped to be able to handle another time commitment.

Another thing that has taken up a lot of my time this semester has been applying for summer internships. It is almost like another class in itself applying for all of these different positions, and can be stressful and nerve racking. I am hoping I can secure one within the next 1-2 months.

November

Wow, I honestly cannot believe how quickly time has flown by this month. It still doesn’t seem real that this semester will be over in just two short weeks. With finals approaching, I feel pretty good, but I really do not want to get over confident about anything. It is nerve wrecking to have my final grade come down to one exam. I have never been graded in such a manner my entire educational career. I have found one of the most difficult parts of the studying process has just been organizing and synthesizing all of my notes from throughout the semester. It’s amazing how many pages of case briefs and class notes a student can compile in three months! All in all though, I am truly blessed to have had such amazing professors who have challenged me throughout the semester in order to get ready for final exams.

Looking back at my first semester of law school, I do wish there were some things I did a little differently. I think I might have cut out too many of the things I enjoy in life because I was so intensely focused on law school. I wish I spent more time with friends and family, but more importantly, I wish I spent more time focusing on myself and my own mental well-being. Next semester, I am going to make it a priority to at least once or twice a week, find a few hours in the day to do what truly makes me happy, whether that be playing basketball in a men’s league, or just sitting back and watching a Netflix with my girlfriend.

Aside from law school, this month has been especially difficult for the fact that I had to watch my cougars get absolutely throttled by the huskies in the Apple Cup. To make things worse, UW plays for the Pac-12 championship, and a spot in the college football playoffs tonight! Nothing would make me happier than to see them choke tonight, sorry husky fans.

September/October

Time has been flying by, and I now find myself halfway through my first semester of law school. Classes have been going really well, I really enjoy all my professors and consistently come away impressed with their vast knowledge. As all other 1L’s, I am taking a class schedule of torts, legal writing, criminal law, contracts and civil procedure. I would have to say that criminal law is my favorite class so far. The cases are extremely interesting and Professor Ahrens allows us to engage in thought provoking conversations with one another.

I was first nervous about having to speak in class, and struggled somewhat with it my first couple of times. However, I have since improved and feel much better about answering questions or discussing materials in front of my professors and classmates. It really is comforting to have classmates that are so understanding of the fact that everybody gets nervous, and are willing to help out if you can’t come up with an answer.

I have tried to approach school as I would a full-time job. It can be hard putting in 10-12 hour days, but it is fulfilling to see your hard work pay off with grades and positive feedback from your professors. As the semester continues, I hope law school continues to be as good of an experience as it has been so far.