The pressures of law school are immense and Laura is experiencing difficultly in balancing the different parts of her life, including her increasing commitments to Law Review while at the same time, maintaining her regular studies. She begins to take drugs to cope with the added responsibilities.
The change in Laura does not go unseen and her friends are increasingly disturbed by what they see happening to her personality but she denies that there is any problem at all except that there is not enough time in the day for all of her duties.
After Laura does a poor job preparing a note for the Law Review, she is in danger of expulsion from the position until Hart intervenes and convinces other Review members to put her on probation rather than dismissing her completely.
When Bell steps in to try to reach her and offers his help, she rebuffs his support. But she soon hits bottom and Hart must redo her work for the Review. It's only after this failure that Laura realizes that she needs help and allows her friends to assist her.
In the meantime, Kingsfield and an old colleague are challenged to a debate concerning the differences of English and American thought about a controversial law.