Anyway, when Vigo the Carpathian comes to spoil the party you need Egon and his Proton Pack, but when the scary stuff is real, and it’s threatening to spoil way more than just a law school party, do you know who to call? Actually, do you even know that you should call?
CALL! Seriously, CALL. Or come by.
If you only take one thing from this, please let it be this: Communicate. Communicate early and often. I, and many others, are here. It is our job and our pleasure to support you and help you navigate your law school journey.
Until Life finds its manners and stops inconsiderately interrupting and interfering via any manner of crisis not advertised as part of the law school journey – an academic struggle, an injury or illness, the passing of a loved one, a mental health obstacle, a financial hardship – those crises necessarily become part of the journey.
So, who do you call?
Call ME. Student Services is a great first call to make. I am able to offer support and guidance in many areas, from practical planning to academic counseling. There are also many things for which I am perhaps not the best person to provide the answer, but I know who is. Using my office as the initial sounding board for a problem allows us to devise a plan together, and help you take the first step towards executing.
I am also the law school's liaison to The Office of Disability Support Services on our South Orange campus. I can help put you in touch with the the right person to assess your unique situation and coordinate reasonable accommodations.
It may seem less than intuitive to lump these two offices together, but what I mean to suggest here is that you seek out whomever YOU are comfortable receiving counsel from. At Seton Hall Law, we are blessed beyond measure to have Father Nick (973-642-8859), someone with clarity, common sense, and compassion. He is always an open and unbiased ear to students of any religious background.
We also have a University Staff Psychologist, Tara Smith, on our Newark campus every Thursday. In addition to more obvious credentials, a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from New York University and a Pre-Doctoral Internship at the Seton Hall University Counseling Center, she has served as the law school liaison for many years and has come to know the unique challenges that face our student body. She’s also married to a lawyer; don’t tell my husband, but that is pretty illuminating too! You may email Tara at email@example.com for an appointment.
A third resource is Denise Golanka of the New Jersey Lawyers Assistance Program; a confidential resource for the profession. For law students, NJLAP provides counseling on matters ranging from Anxiety and Depression to Eating Disorders, guidance about the Character and Fitness portion of your Bar Application, and information about local resources.
Perhaps you are a 1L who needs some study tips and advice on turning your marked-up casebook into a viable outline. Maybe you are struggling mightily to find a new study technique that will aid your retention and recall. It’s possible you don’t have a good sense of how much time is enough time (and how much time is too much time) to spend studying for a certain class. Maybe you need someone to simply help chart the course forward. Cue the ever-helpful Professor Newcombe. Any student may reach out to set up an appointment and discuss their academic success.
And don’t forget about your professors! The socratic method may seem cruel, but our professors are truly kind . . . and there is no one better to tell you how best to prepare for their class/exam than them!
Incoming students received a letter from me at Orientation; among other things, it said that I want each of you not only to DO well, but also to BE well.