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Why Failure Isn’t Final (Even in Law School)

Kayla Britt did her 1L year twice. 

After being academically dismissed her first year of law school, she got her master’s in public administration, and then returned to do her 1L year over again. 

When she tells people this part of her story, they say she must be crazy. 

She tells them, “If you want it bad enough, you’re willing to do crazy things.”

Kayla finished her undergrad with a degree in criminal justice, and then entered law school, planning to practice family law. After focusing too much on preparing for class over learning material for exams, she was academically dismissed. 

Her response was: “Y’all aren’t getting rid of me that easily.” 

She went across the street to get her masters of public administration, planning to come back. After graduating as Valedictorian from her MPA class, she reapplied to law school, got accepted, and completely redid her 1L year. 

That round, she graduated a semester early with honors and a certification in constitutional law and civil rights. 

All the ups and downs Kayla experienced have inspired her to do everything she can to make things easier for people coming after her. 

Today, Kayla is an assistant attorney general at the North Carolina Department of Justice. She’s also the #fairylawmother, providing resources through LinkedIn for law students all over the country. She wants to offer support for people who find themselves in the same position she was in. 

Kayla knows firsthand what it’s like to have to get really honest with herself and her law career, which is why I wanted to ask her what she tells people considering this path. 

Kayla to gave me two questions she asks people who want to go to law school: 

Why do you want to go?

If you want to go because somebody expects you to go, don't go. If you want to go because you want to make a lot of money, don't go. If you want to go because you’re imagining this really nice job and this luxurious life, don't go. 

But if you're going because you genuinely want to be a lawyer, you genuinely want to make some kind of difference, you genuinely want to practice in some kind like some specific area of law, then let's do this. 

What are you going to do to make sure you’re successful? 

Are you familiar with what law school requires? Do you know anybody who's been through this journey before? What can you get from those people to make sure that you’re prepared the first day? Because you walk into law school and you hit the ground running. 

To hear my full conversation with Kayla and her advice to those who’ve been academically dismissed, listen to my latest podcast: Why Failure Isn’t Final (Even in Law School)

I love Kayla’s story because she didn’t back down after failure, but she learned from her mistakes, and she pushed through. Now she uses her story to help others. 

My powerhouse friend, if you’re facing something hard today, don’t give up. 

Find someone to connect with who can help you. There are plenty of women in the law who would love to make the journey easier for you. 

In your corner, 


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