Starting something new (especially law school) is stressful enough. You don’t need additional stress by forgetting essential items when you start classes. The Law School Toolbox experts are sharing some lesser known items to pack and bring with you in law school.
Before you read the tips, meet the individuals who are sharing advice with you.
Lee Burgess is the co-founder of Law School Toolbox. She graduated cum laude from the University of San Francisco School of Law, was a TA for Contracts and Torts, and was the Managing Editor of the USF Law Review. Lee left her law firm job and became a private California bar exam tutor and law school tutor when she realized her passion for helping students succeed in law school and pass the bar.
Alison Monahan is the co-founder of Law Exam Toolbox. She graduated from Columbia Law School in 2006 as a Kent Scholar, a Stone Scholar, and a member of the Columbia Law Review. She was also a Civ Pro TA. After law school, Alison clerked for a federal District Court judge and worked as a patent litigator in a large law firm in San Francisco. She eventually left to start The Girl’s Guide to Law School®, which is a leading resource for individuals embarking on a legal career.
Ariel Salzer is a law school and California bar exam tutor for Law School Toolbox and Bar Exam Toolbox. She has taught everything from conjunctions to calculus on four different continents. As a student at the University of San Francisco School of Law, Ariel tutored Torts and led 1L workshops on time management, exam preparation, legal writing, and outlining. After practicing law as a product liability litigator in California for a number of years, Ariel found her way back to teaching and now enjoys helping students find success in their law school classes and on the bar exam.
Ben Nelson is a law school and California and Oregon bar exam tutor for Law School Toolbox and Bar Exam Toolbox. As the oldest child of two professors, he realized from an early age that he wanted to strike out on his own. He eventually settled on law school and graduated from Columbia in 2014 as a Kent Scholar and a Stone Scholar. When he is not tutoring, Ben is a legal fellow for Earthjustice in Denver, CO where he works to protect the iconic American Southwest and Rocky Mountains from overuse.
Non-Obvious Things That 1L’s Should Bring With Them and Why
Bring your lunch and/or dinner. Some law schools have really terrible food options. If you eat crappy food and feel crappy, you are going to have a harder time paying attention in class and effectively studying. So, if you don’t have good options at school, bring food with you. You will feel so much better during the day, and you will likely even save money by not buying expensive salads (that aren’t even very good) at the student union.
It’s critical to set up a workspace at home that works for you. Even if you prefer, as a general rule, to study elsewhere, there are almost certainly going to be times when you need to print out some materials or do some reading at home. Having a good quality printer and scanner at hand will drastically simplify your life when it counts. As will a nice chair and good lighting, for those times when you really can’t face going to the law library again.
An extra light laptop computer because this is what you’ll be glued to for the next three years, and you don’t want to add too much weight to your 15 pound backpack. Also a book stand (“recipe book holder”) to hold open case books while you outline from them.
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And if you’re starting law school, check out our course for incoming 1Ls: Start Law School Right. You’ll get the feedback and support you need to succeed in law school, from day one!
Other helpful pre-1L posts:
- Pre-1L Summer Checklist
- How to Get The Most out of Law School with Extracurricular Activities
- How Being a Law Student and a Functional Human Being Don’t Have to Be Mutually Exclusive
- How to Start Law School Right
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