A Summer To-Do List Before Law School
Case books? Check.
Highlighters? Do you really think a six pack is enough?
Well, you’ve reached the final stretch. A year ago, you were stressing about LSATs and applications. Now, you’re easing back, swathed in an eerie sense of calm. Sure, you’ve heard all the horror stories. You’ll feel besieged in September, bewildered in October, burned out in November, and beaten down in December. But that happens to everyone. And surviving the first semester of a 1L program is an achievement in itself.
Here’s something to consider: It isn’t necessarily the curriculum that determines your first semester success. Sometimes, the unexpected sabotages performance. What happens if you fall ill? What is the fastest (and safest) route to campus? And where is the best place for yoga (or groceries)? Do you really want to spend your valuable fall time working through those issues?
Then again, you don’t want to spend your summer reading ahead, either. You’ll just run out of gas sooner. Instead, you want to find balance this summer between having fun, staying intellectually stimulated, and tying up loose ends. In a recent column with Above the Law, Lee Burgess, co-founder of the Law School Toolbox, offered a roadmap to doing just that. While Burgess might advise incoming students to get “up to speed on what law school exams look like,” she also urges you to enjoy life now. Your life will be upended soon enough.
Here are some of Burgess’ suggestions for getting the most from the summer before law school:
- “Have some fun. I think that having fun is critical before you start law school! You should take a vacation if possible, even if it is just a quick road trip out of town. You are about to embark on a challenging (yet rewarding) journey, so enjoy a little break between whatever you have been doing before school and what you will be doing once it starts. I took a trip to Costa Rica with my best friend the summer before law school. It was a blast and a great send-off from my pre-law school life (and pre-law school paycheck).”
- “Get your life in order and take care of yourself. Many people think that returning to the life of a student means all-night study sessions and take-out food. But these can make you tired, unproductive, and full of anxiety. Turns out if we don’t eat well and exercise, we don’t perform as well academically, who knew! And although some of these tactics may have worked for us when we were undergrads, we all get older and may not be able to pull the same stunts with the same results. It is important to get into some good healthy habits before school starts. Also, take some time to get your life in order. If you need to move during the summer, do so before school starts. If you need to figure out some financial issues, do so before school starts. Once school starts, you will not have a ton of free time. So get as much life stuff as possible in order—before you dive into orientation.”
- “Spend time with friends and family. Friends and family (and significant others) can feel a bit neglected when law school becomes your focus. So make sure you spend some quality time with friends and family during the months leading up to the start of school. This way, when you are busy and focused on school, they will remember what it is like to spend time with you.”
To read the complete list, click on the Above the Law link below.
Source: Above the Law