Tips For Your First Year Of Law School
The first year of law school is the most difficult for many.
“I like to think about it as a meat grinder,” Randall, of Magoosh, writes. “It filters out the students who can’t take it, and then, the rest of the students get ground up and beat with a meat tenderizer. At the end of it, once you make it through, you’re a completely different person.”
But what exactly can a law student do to prepare for their 1L and thrive during their first year of law school? Gabriel Kuris, a contributor at US News and founder of Top Law Coach, recently offered a few tips for 1Ls to succeed in their first year.
HAVE CLEAR GOALS
Kuris says law school is meant to prepare you for your career. Thus, she says, students who can narrow their focus and pursue clear career goals will tend to get the most out of their law school experience.
“There is still room for intellectual curiosity in law school, of course, but it is best to explore deep down a few paths rather than taking tentative steps in many directions,” Kuris writes. “Each legal specialization has countless nuances and approaches. Think hard about what kinds of work settings foster your best performance.”
ANNOTATE YOUR READINGS
Readings are an integral part of the law classroom experience. Often times, these readings can be dense with information.
Kuris recommends 1L’s to practice annotating their reading to succeed in the classroom.
“Since classroom discussions revolve around specific cases and rules, they will be incomprehensible unless you stay on top of the reading,” Kuris writes. “So prepare for class not just by doing all the reading, but also engaging with it by briefing cases and outlining concepts. Develop your own system for keeping cases straight and understanding how they relate to one another. If you get called on, you will need clear notes for reference.”
UTILIZE OFFICE HOURS
Often times, 1L classes will be larger lectures with one professor teaching a number of students. It can be intimidating to approach a professor, but Kuris says 1L’s shouldn’t shy away from faculty.
“Many professors are eager to engage with students outside the classroom,” Kuris writes. “Attending office hours or review sessions can be a great way to get to know professors, discuss your personal interests and seek clarification.”
Read the rest of Kuris’ tips here.