Four Paths to Successful Law School Beginnings
When you first decide to go to law school, you get a lot of advice from other students, your parents and friends, as well as the compassionate college professor, but you also should know the major tips that will be most important for getting ahead and keeping your advantage while in law school. One of the most important parts of going to law school is how you start. Law school will test every part of a student's mind, and if you don't have the habits of a law student down yet, you should get to know a few before heading off to law school to understand how much studying and reading you need to do. These are some other great tidbits of advice from law school graduates.
1. Prepare Yourself
In a normal college setting, the first day of college was a freebie. You just had to show up. It's not that way in law school. You should have already been reading before your first day. In addition, you should know exactly what all of your 1L classes will entail and what you'll be doing on the first day in each class. You should be reading course-specific study guides and making sense of concepts that challenge you. In addition, there are tutors for pre-1L and 1L students that can help you make sense of things that you don't understand before the first day. This knowledge will help you immensely on your first day but also for the next three weeks after.
2. Finals Start Now
Oh, but it seems so far away. Not really! Finals are everything in law school. That's why it's one of the most stressful times for law school students. Your 1L grades are determined solely by the performance on your finals. For that reason, you should be preparing for them every day. One of the hardest parts is learning how to write for law school exams. That's because your college professors taught you some terrible habits that are awesome for English majors but not the law world. You must hone your law writing skills before your 1L exams. Again, tutoring may help with this.
3. Be Social
Everything will overwhelm you in the beginning, but that's why you have to make friends with other law school students and form study groups. In addition, join up with different organizations, get involved with debate teams and make friends with other classmates outside of law school. This will keep your sanity intact.
4. Survive Distractions
One hour on Facebook is one hour less time that you spent studying or listening in class. It's a killer of many students, as is procrastination. You have to be willing to push through the moments when you "just don't want to" and buckle yourself to your desk. You should recognize which distractions are worse than others and eliminate them from your life. This could mean getting rid of your television or giving it to a sibling. If you have a long distance relationship with someone, it may get more stressful and your partner needs to understand the amount of energy you're putting into law school every day.
In the end, it takes practice to become an excellent law school student, and with dedicated time, you can become one of the top students in your class. Just focus on the objectives and never leave something unquestioned that confuses you. For those moments, get help from professors, tutors and friends.
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