Student Profile: Morgan Overly
Our current Charleston School of Law students talk to you about their first-year experience in law school. Here’s Morgan Overly, a rising 2L from St. Simons Island, Georgia, sharing what the transition has done for her in and out of the classroom.
What has law school taught you about you in the first year?
Law school has taught me that I am stronger than I thought I was. You will face challenges in your 1L year. You don’t know how to study, you don’t know how to balance your life, and it really taught me how to manage my time, but also realize that I can do this if you put the time in.
What has your relationship been like with faculty your first year?
My first year, I was lucky to have professors that were there anytime I needed them. I would go into their offices and talk about what I was struggling with. I was quickly able to build relationships with my professors and to truly understand what they were teaching me.
Professor Janssen was one of the professors that I went to and talked about my schedule, and he helped me immensely just figure out what balance I wanted to have and how to focus my time on school, but also on having a great life outside of law school.
What did you learn coming out of your 1L year?
I did a lot of self-reflection. You have to change the way you study. In the beginning, I was studying like I was in college, which is very different. You’re teaching yourself how to learn a new language, kind of. I would tell new students to go to your professors whenever you need help.
Do you remember the day you got the call being accepted?
Yes. I was in Hawaii with my family and I remember we were in the car with my aunt and my boyfriend. I saw the Charleston area code pop up on my phone and at first I was like, who is calling me? I didn’t really believe the acceptance call thing at first. But, sure enough, it was Dean Bell and she was calling to tell me I was accepted. I was shaking and I didn’t know what to say. That was the best way to end our trip in Hawaii.
You mentioned to me that you were carjacked at one point. What did that experience teach you about how the legal process works?
I was interning in Washington, DC and we were carjacked. At that time, I didn’t understand what was going on. I didn’t know how the process would work … I went back to DC after I got a call from the US Attorney’s Office to come testify. I talked to the attorney, basically answered questions, what she was gonna ask me, told my side of the story and truly got to be a part of a court case.
The US attorney was great and basically walked me through every step. So, I had a taste of what I was kind of getting myself into; seeing all that and witnessing and being in a court case was, truly one of the coolest things out of a terrible situation that had happened to me.
But it was super cool to see the ins and outs of what happens in a court case and truly how problems get solved. She really taught me how to be empathetic towards clients and how to talk to people about serious situations and to help them kind of resolve what’s going on in their lives.
There are great law schools all around the country. Why did you pick Charleston School of Law?
I picked Charleston School of Law because I had heard from other students that the professors were great, a small classroom environment — and I loved that aspect. I came from a smaller school, and I really thrived. I also looked at what my life would look like outside of law school and being in Charleston. You have shopping, the beach, food, anything you can imagine. When you need a break, Charleston was the easiest pick to do that because we were in a thriving city, so you could relax, take a break, and enjoy myself as well as be a student.