Half way through my second year of law school I drafted a list of 10 pieces of advice that I would give to anyone entering their first year. I passed this list on to between 5-10 people, and everyone seemed to appreciate it. After not having thought about the list for a few years someone who had heard of it recently asked me for a copy. It took me a fair bit of time searching through old Facebook messages to find it. I accordingly decided to publish the list here so that if I was ever asked again I could easily find my recommendations rather then spend time during a sunny Sunday looking for it.
Remarkably, while I have updated the rationale behind each suggestion, my recommendations for people entering first year law remain the same now as they did when I was a second year law student.
So here they are.
1) You Control How Intense Law School Is
First year law school is intense. There are typically mandatory year long courses, most of which are graded almost exclusively on a final exam. You will be surrounded by some of the smartest people that you have ever met and will (depending on the school) be graded on a curve against them. There will be a flurry of electives that you can choose from and if you’ve gone abroad for school it could be difficult to not become fully immersed in the study of law.
However, law school is only as intense as you want it to be. You could spend thirty hours a week in the library or just use other people’s summaries. For every student spending their weekend reading dozens of cases there is another student probably doing just as well who is rock climbing having just read a ten sentence summary of each case.Read more ›