Finally done! That was my first thought after my last final exam. However, there are still law school related tasks that you should be mindful of even after the school year has technically ended. Posted below you will find a list of recommendations from myself and a couple of my fellow law school classmates which will help to ensure a successful year in law school!
Here are some helpful tools and suggested supplies:
–Case Brief Template
-Laptop or Binder/Paper
–G2 pens (my preference)
–Google Drive Account (So that you can access docs from any place with an internet connection)
–Business cards (Your school may give you some for free)
–LinkedIn (If you don’t already have an account, now is the time to make one)
1) BALANCE. Yes, this may seem obvious, but it is so important. Law school can be overwhelming and it has the potential to consume your life (cue Dark Vadar’s theme “The Imperial March”). It will serve you well to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, cook healthy meals, and find a hobby outside of the law school. Some of my hobbies these last couple of years have included Contemporary Dance, working out, cooking, my website, and reading (only when my eyes didn’t already feel like they were about to fall out).
2) READ the instructions. You’re going to be given a student handbook or some other document which tells you everything you need to know about graduating with your law degree in one place. Read it and understand the requirements you need to complete in order to graduate.
3)Compile all of your syllabi SCHEDULES into your agenda and being to create a set schedule for yourself. This should include reading assignments, assignment dates, outlining times, review time and exam dates. Also, create a “weekly” view of your classes so that you know your class times and locations. Please see the sample pictured below.
4)LEARN your professors and build relationships, write what they lecture and write how they like you to write. Remember, that the exam is subjective and based on what the professor likes. The exam is not about arguing– It’s more of a discussion in which you will have to issue spot and write about possible scenarios EX: This could happen, but then this. Also, figure out which method of exam writing your professor prefers ie. cirac, irac, drac.
5) I would suggest that if you’re used to handwriting your notes, you should stick with that method of NOTE-TAKING. Continue to use the study habits that made you successful in undergrad.
6) Find good STUDY AREAS in your home and around campus. SN: Studying in the undergraduate library has a different feel than the law school library which can be very intense
7) Find people on Law Review and get the OUTLINES from people who have had the SAME PROFESSORS. I want to emphasize the fact that you should not rely on these outlines going into the exam. I would recommend that you use them as a reference.
8)Do not plan to do anything the week following your last exam. This is the time when most law schools open the “WRITE-ON,” which is where you essentially try out for a Journal. I unfortunately missed the window. I won’t go into detail on that issue though. BTW- Learn your bluebook. The people who know the blue book pretty well usually prove to be successful in the Write-on process.
Ultimately, this is about your life. As we grow older we keep expecting that there will be some definite, identifiable moment where we go “oh! now I’m qualified to have an opinion on x!”. Those moments aren’t usually so easily identifiable, and the adage that everyone is faking it until they make it has more truth to it than our parents or undergrad teachers would have us believe. So approach everything everyone tells you with an open mind but clarity of purpose – take what is valuable to you from it, but don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by one person or idea tugging you in its direction.