Congratulations! You are in your last year of law school and graduation is just around the corner. Time to celebrate and kick back and relax, right? Well, even though your senioritis may be kicking in, there are some important things you need to do before you walk across the stage and graduate. I remember how I felt when I was in my last semester of law school. The motivation was at an all time low, deadlines and work were stacking up, and I was hustling to get everything done before I had to start studying for the bar exam. Sometimes it is a mystery to me how I managed to get through it all. In order to make your life better post-graduation, I have curated a list of things that I did before I graduated that helped me during bar prep and at the start of my career. Here are ten things for you to do before you graduate. I hope that this list helps you get to that post-graduate life smoothly!
1. Visit Your Career Services Department
A great resource that most law schools have is a career services department. This office helps students and alumni get connected to jobs and networking opportunities to further their careers. Now is a great time to sign-up for a counseling session to make sure you secure a job following graduation (and the bar exam) or to ensure you are equipped to start your career.
2. Meet with Your Favorite Professors and Mentors
Throughout law school, you have encountered many professionals who have guided and mentored you to become the person you are today. Whether it be those students above you in law school, attorneys, professors, law school staff, or others, they were there for you in your tumultuous journey through law school. These connections can form life-long mentorships and sources of advice and guidance. Before you graduate, you should meet with them to thank them for their help and solidify your relationship with them in the future.
3. Have Dinner With Your Law School Besties
Your classmates have been with you through the good and bad times of law school. You have formed friendships along the way that can last a lifetime. Some of my closest friends are the people I met in law school. We still see each other when we can (absent a global pandemic) and encourage each other in our careers. Before you graduate, you should organize a dinner with your law school friends to have fun and enjoy each other’s company one last time before you graduate. So make some time for your law school friends to celebrate your graduation (in a safe way)!
4. Sign-up for Graduation
This may seem simple, but you need to sign-up for graduation and make sure you fulfilled all of the required steps. Most schools have a process to “apply” or “sign-up” for graduation. You also will likely need to order your cap and gown (if you plan on walking for graduation) and complete other processes to ensure you are all set for graduation. Some schools, like my alma mater, have fun graduation days in the last few weeks of classes.
5. Finish Your Projects and Clubs
If you were like me when I was in my last semester of law school, you probably have senioritis. You are just ready to be done with law school and move on with your life! However, finals are just around the corner and things are still wrapping up. Thus, it is important to finish your projects, essays, and club/extracurricular activities before graduating. You will feel accomplished once you tie up all loose ends.
You did it! You survived law school! This is an important achievement that you should take the time to celebrate and enjoy your moment. Whether it be going out for a nice dinner with family and friends or taking time off to relax, you deserve to take pride in your accomplishments. There are also ways that you can celebrate despite the pandemic too. In any case, congratulations!
7. Get Your Bar Prep Plan Situated
Following graduation you will need to start studying for the bar exam and that means you will need to have your game plan together. Thus, it is important to get your bar prep plan situated before you graduate. If you plan on using a bar prep course, you will need to make sure you have signed up and paid for your course. If you want to get tutoring, you should check out your options and sign up prior to graduation. Alternatively, if you plan on self-studying, you should make sure you have your study plan organized and ready to jump in once you graduate.
8. Sign up for the Bar Exam
In addition to getting your bar prep plan worked out, you also need to sign up for the bar exam and do your bar application. The bar application is a very important process that law students have to go through to be eligible to be admitted to the bar. Each jurisdiction has its own specific bar application process and documents they require. Now is a great time to get your bar application completed and sign up for the bar exam for the jurisdiction you wish to practice in before it’s too late.
Now that you are about to graduate, it is time to relax a little bit. After graduation, you will be thrown into a period called bar prep. This time was one of the most challenging and stressful periods of my life. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to enjoy the time before and immediately after graduation. It is important to spend some time relaxing and rejuvenating yourself so that you can go into bar prep swinging.
10. Take in the Moment
You have been in law school mode for 3+ years now. Although it may seem short in the grand scheme of your life, those were long, tireless years that you spent working on your education and eventual career. Personally, when I was in law school, it felt like I was grinding the whole way through it. I kept pushing through the weeks, months, and years and never took the time to just take in the moment and really enjoy law school. So sit back and reflect on your time you spent in law school and the experiences you shared. You have worked so hard to get to this point. Congratulations on your upcoming graduation and next steps in your legal journey!
Looking for some help to do your best in law school? Find out about our law school tutoring options.