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Law School: Expert Tips to Survive Your First Year

published March 01, 2023

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( 327 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
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Summary

Beginning law school can be an intimidating experience, but with a few tips, it can become an easier journey. The first year of law school will require a lot of hard work and dedication, but the rewards can be great. Here are a few tips to help make your first year of law school a successful one.

First, be prepared to study. In law school, it's essential to dedicate as much time as possible to studying. Make sure to set aside sufficient time for reading, outlining, and preparing for class. It is important to keep up with the material being discussed and to be able to adjust to the new workload.

Second, familiarize yourself with the law library. The law library will quickly become your go-to resource for legal research. Spend some time exploring the library and getting to know the resources available. This will make it easier to access the material you need.

Third, get organized. Create a system for organizing notes and outlines that works for you. This will help keep you organized and make it easier to find the information you need. Additionally, it's important to create a realistic schedule and to stay on top of your assignments.

Fourth, work on your writing skills. Law school is all about writing, so it's important to focus on developing your writing skills. This means not only honing your research skills, but also improving your writing style and grammar.

Fifth, get involved in extracurricular activities. Participating in extracurricular activities is a great way to get to know other students, make networking connections, and build your resume. These activities will help you develop skills that will be useful in law school and in your career.

Finally, don't forget to take care of yourself. Law school can be stressful, so it's important to take the time to relax and recharge. Make sure to take this time to get enough rest, exercise, and take part in activities that make you happy.

With these tips, you can make the most of your first year of law school. With dedication and hard work, you can make it through the year and be ready to tackle the challenges of your legal career. By being prepared, staying organized, and taking care of yourself, you can ensure a successful first year of law school.
Questions Answered In This Article
 

What’s the best way to join a law school study group?

Keep the group small, up to four people. The group should be comprised of people who study and are serious about success in their classes. Don’t be afraid to quit a study group if no studying occurs.
 

What tips should I keep in mind for surviving the first year of law school?

Take all advice given by two and 3Ls with a grain of salt. Participate in moot court and mock trials when possible. Make time for things you enjoy, such as hobbies or recreational activities. Outline your courses, and don’t rely on commercial outlines. Don’t break the bank on study aids; use the library or buy used copies from fellow students.
 

How can I stay on top of my grades in law school?

Join a study group and focus on learning and understanding the material rather than simply memorizing it. Participate in moot court or mock trials when possible to gain practical experience. Ask your professor for help if you need it and attend office hours. Outline your courses, use the library or buy used study aids from fellow students, and take advantage of available tutors or online resources.
 

What’s the best way to handle Legal Practice (or other first-year writing courses)?

Make sure to stay engaged and entertained in the course. Take advantage of available tutors, office hours, or online resources. Work with a partner or small group for practice sessions and ask your professor for help if you need it. Outline the material yourself rather than relying on commercial outlines, which may not align with your professor’s perspective.
 

What should I keep in mind regarding my privacy in law school?

Be aware that other students or faculty may discuss anything you share. It is best to keep any sensitive information, such as past medical history, sexual orientation, or gender identity, private unless you are comfortable sharing it with the entire school. Follow any rules or guidelines set by your school for confidentiality and privacy.

Below are some tips to surviving your 1L year that I wish I'D been given. Remember the old adage — ''Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.'' So take a deep breath and repeat after me — ''I am a 1L and they can't kill me!'' Then read these tips and follow the advice below because it will help make your 1L year much more manageable.
 
First Year Of Law School Survival Tips

You’re trembling. Sweat is poring down your face. Everyone is speaking a foreign language. No, this is not a nightmare. It’s your first day of LAW SCHOOL. There’s no need to be afraid. You will survive. As of this writing, no one in my class has died. I am now proud to say, “I am a 2L!” Below are some tips for surviving your 1L year that I wish I’d been given. Remember the old adage “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” So take a deep breath and repeat after me: “I am a 1L, and they can’t kill me!” Then read these tips and follow the advice below because it will help make your 1L year much more manageable.
 
  1. Participate in moot court and mock trial. But if your coach dips and spits (into a clear plastic bottle no less), run - do not walk - to the nearest exit, but don’t leave before you get a new coach that doesn’t dip and spit. This really happened to me. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a new coach.
  2. Take all advice given by 2 and 3L’s with a grain of salt. It may be good advice, but then again they may just be messing with your head.
  3. Join a study group. I repeat for slow learners. Study group! Not a group for gossiping or drinking or whatever else groups do. Keep the group small, no more than four people. The group should be made up of people who actually study. Don’t be afraid to quit a study group if no studying occurs.
  4. Make time for things you enjoy! If you have a hobby - fly fishing, underwater basket weaving - don’t give it up. You don’t want to turn into some psycho the other law students whisper about. “Psst. See that guy over there. No, the one with drool all down his front. Yeah! He’s the one who spends 15 hours a day in the library and is still on academic probation.” Long hours in the library do not equal higher grades.
  5. Outline your courses. Don’t rely on commercial outlines; your professor may not have the same perspective on the law as Emmanuel and Gilbert. Do look at outlines from 2 and 3L’s who had your professor
  6. People exaggerate how much they study. Don’t listen to them! Either they are lying to make themselves look better or they’re insane and really do study that much. If they are insane, you don’t have to worry about them because they’ll flunk out due to sleep deprivation.
  7. Legal Practice (or whatever your school calls the dreaded first year writing course) is a colossal bore! Find a way to keep your mind entertained while in class because even Legal Practice professors frown on sleeping during class.
  8. Don’t break the bank on commercial study aids! If you decide to buy them, you can probably get used copies from fellow students. If you’re not sure what study aids to buy (don’t go hog wild and buy all of them), check some out from the law library and see what works best for you.
  9. The quietest person in your class will be number one at the end of the first year! The guy who only spoke when called on is currently at the top of my class.
  10. Law school is exactly like junior high. Everyone wants to know your business, and as soon as someone does know it, they will tell the whole school. So if you've done anything weird (sex change, strange piercing, etc.), keep it to yourself unless you're really into 600 other people discussing it ad nauseam.

Please see the following articles for more information about law school, the bar exam and succeeding in your first year of practice:
 

published March 01, 2023

( 327 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.