For most students, the first week of law school is an equal mix of excitement and apprehension. It can be easy to get overwhelmed by the dense reading, the cranky professors, and the new social environment. Below are five suggestions to help you manage your first week of law school and get started on the right foot.
Go to every orientation event.
Orientations and their corresponding social mixers can be boring, but they do generally impart at least some useful advice about the logistics of law school and the resources available to you. At the very least, you should take advantage of this opportunity to meet the people that you will be spending the next three years of your life with.
Meet with career services.
The whole point of going to law school is to get a good job, so it’s a good idea to introduce yourself to the Career Services department ASAP and start heeding their advice. The legal job market can be tough, so it’s best to start cultivating all your options early.
Do all of the reading.
The first week’s reading assignments are probably going to be some of the toughest, both because you aren’t going to be familiar with a lot of the legal jargon and because you aren’t going to know your professor’s expectations. But no matter how difficult the material or how long it takes you, completing the reading assignments is an absolute must. Law school is going to take some hard so it’s important to start creating good habits right from the start. Plus, you don’t want to be caught unprepared on a cold call during your first week!
Don’t be a gunner.
While you want to be prepared for class, you also don’t want to be too anxious to volunteer all of your superior knowledge or show off how well-read you are. If you want to volunteer an answer during class, by all means, raise your hand. Your classmates will probably be relieved they aren’t on the hot seat. But don’t be the know it all whose hand shoots up at every opportunity or who thinks they’re entitled to argue with the professor after two days of class. Your legal reputation starts taking shape in law school, so make an effort not to sabotage it during the first week.
Law school is hard and it takes time to adjust to the new language, the workload, and the teaching methods. During the first few weeks, just do your best to stay on top of your reading assignments, take good class notes, and adjust to the new environment. Try not to stress yourself out by worrying about outlining or final exams. There will be plenty of time worry about all that later!
What’s your biggest concern about your first week of law school? Leave us a comment below!
— – —
Want more law school tips? Sign up for our free mailing list today.
Other helpful pre-1L posts:
- Pre-1L Summer Checklist
- The People You Will Meet in Law School
- Want to Get Good Law School Grades? Become a Self-Starter
- How to Think Like a Successful Law Student
Photo Credit: Focal Point/ Shutterstock
Looking for some help to do your best in law school? Find out about our law school tutoring options.