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Tips For 1L’s

The first year of law school can be demanding for many.

In fact, experts tend to say that the first year is the most difficult.

“Most students consider the first year of law school to be the most difficult,” according to Enjuris. “The material is more complex than they’re used to and it must be learned rapidly. What’s more, the way students are taught and tested is very different from high school or undergrad.”

Luckily, there are many resources out there for 1Ls to come prepared their first year. Ashley Heidemann, of the National Jurist, offered a few tips for how survive the first year of law school.


Heidemann stresses the importance of starting with a plan in your first year, especially when it comes to study habits.

“If you want to hit the ground running during your first year of law school, you need a solid plan,” she writes. “How will you stay on top of your reading assignments? How will you take notes in class? No matter how successful you were in undergrad, you’re going to need to change your study habits to keep up with your fellow 1Ls.”


Developing your network is key to success in both law school and post-grad.

“Your fellow law students aren’t just your drinking buddies at bar review or your competition for grades,” Heidemann writes. “Instead, they are your future coworkers, peers, and opposing counsel. Getting to know your fellow students can not only give you friends and study partners during school, but also lifelong connections once you graduate.”

Experts say the best way to go about building connections at law school is to get involved.

“Join student organizations, your undergrad alumni association, the local bar association,” according to Stanford Law’s careers team. “Get to know your fellow classmates and law school faculty. Seek out volunteer opportunities in the area of law in which you’re most interested. Attend presentations, conferences and symposia. The more people you know, the more likely it is that you’ll hear of exciting opportunities.”


Your first year will be tough.

But during those difficult moments, Heidemann stresses the importance of remembering why you are here.

“In those situations, remembering your ‘why’ can give you the encouragement you need to keep going,” she writes. “Remember what brought you to law school, and think about what you’ll do once you have your JD in hand. Keeping the big picture in mind will help you make it through the minutiae.”

Sources: National Jurist, Enjuris, Stanford Law