Preparing for law school before classes begin is important in being successful. However, your preparation should be focused on getting into law school and enjoying your “freedom” before you spend countless hours studying the law.
Do Not Study the Law Intensely
Everyone’s instant reaction when getting ready to start law school is to instantly try to learn everything they can about the law before classes begin. While this sounds like a good strategy, it may actually hurt you a bit. Studying law is similar to an art; there is a certain way you need to understand the cases and the law in order to be successful while in law school or practice. It is good to have a basic understanding of what the law is, but you will learn everything substantive that you need to know when you are actually in law school.
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It is important that you research the school you plan on attending before you enroll in classes. Know what their 1L schedule looks like and what other classes are required or offered. It is also beneficial to sit in on a class so you know what classes will be like. Getting used to the school and how it operates will help you be prepared for law school. You will become comfortable with the place that you will be spending most of your time.
Relax a Little
Take this advice seriously, try to relax as much as you can before law school. I am not trying to imply that you will have no free time during law school, you will just be limited on what you can do and when. Also, law school is very stressful so it is for the best to be as relaxed as you can when you start. Spend time with friends and family and enjoy your social life without the constraints of law school.
Work, Work And Work
Working before you go to law school will be very beneficial to you during your first year. Even if it is just for a semester or summer, putting away money is important in being successful during your first year. Most law schools suggest not working at all your first year. As a first generation college student who has had a job since she was 16, this was very disheartening to hear. My initial thought was how am I going to survive financially if it is highly suggested I focus on school and not work? Fortunately, I graduated from undergraduate a semester early and worked full time up until I began law school. Not only did I not have to stress about money, I was also able to focus all my time on studying and preparing for class. No one likes stressing about money, regardless of background or age. Even if you do decide to work during your first year, there are limitations. In case you are unaware, if you are a full-time law student, you are not able to work more than 20 hours a week as decided by the ABA. While 20 hours of work is still some money, it is best to figure out your finances before law school so that you are not stressing about it later.
Get in the Mindset
Overall, you want to get your mind ready. In your first few weeks, you may be overwhelmed by the information dump that occurs at the beginning of the semester. Like I stated earlier, understanding the law from cases is like an art. It is difficult to understand the rule of law at first because cases can be complex. The best strategy for getting ready for law school is to get in the mindset to absorb a lot of information and get ready to learn.
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