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Incoming 1Ls / Advice for 1Ls to be
« on: October 24, 2007, 04:04:20 PM »
I realize the following advice is unsolicited but I thought I would give it anyway.
1. Love the one you're with. If you go to a non-t14 school, and you chose it over another more highly ranked school, you will have doubts. You will probably regret it, just like I did. However, there's nothing you can do about it now, and transferring is, honestly, pretty rare and almost always impracticable. Do the best you can, focus on the good things about your choice and keep going. No one likes a quitter, and the fact that you got into a t20 won't matter at all after the ego-bruising of becoming a dropout after 1L (I've seen it happen). Be positive about it.

2. Don't expect it to be easy. I can't tell you how upset many people in my class are after getting straight A's their entire lives and then having to deal with bottom 50%- bottom 10% grades. It happens. Not everyone is going to be in the top half of the class. In fact, there is a 50% chance that YOU WON'T BE. Be prepared for that. Everyone says "that's not going to happen to me, because I work hard, will do whatever it takes, and I'm smart." Such is the situation with EVERY SINGLE other member of your class. That;s what theyre thinking. If you base your choice of school based on the "I'll definitely get top 1/3rd there, so everything will be ok" YOU ARE PROBABLY MAKING THE WRONG CHOICE.

3. Don't talk about your f-ing sorority or fraternity. These people just come off as pathetic and living in the past. If you went to a college like mine where being Greek was considered the cool thing, this is not the same as in LS. I was in a fraternity at a fairly fratty public school and now I go to law school at a much frattier public school, and let me tell you, the kids who constantly talk about the good old days and wear their frat/sorority gear just come across as lame and immature. Inevitably, 4 or 5 of the people like this in your section will bond and isolate themselves from the rest of the class. Don't do this. Have an open mind about people; at this point in your life there are more important phenomena at play than that awesome White Rose Ball you had last year or surrounding yourself with the most attractive, conservative people possible. Remember that.

4. Live alone. DEFINITELY do not live with another person who is not a law student, and DEFINITELY don't live with a stranger.

5. If you're going to be a gunner - like a sit-in-the-front, volunteer-knowledge-at-ever-opportunity, member of frivolous clubs, after-class-professor-chatting, waxing judicial when you get called on GUNNER, then make that decision early and don't look back.

6. Don't out yourself in class - as a liberal, a conservative, a good student, an average student, an organ donor, a gay person, a straight person, or someone who loves playing Yahtzee --- you might not care about what people think of you, but trust me, it's just not a good idea to get personal with anyone you aren't friends with, and that includes professors and random people in your section.

7. Start outlining early and outline often. I know it might not seem like a big deal in september to take a whole saturday just chilling and beering and whatevering, but as a 1L you're still figuring a lot out, and it takes a longer time to make the progress an experience law student could make in the same time. Outline/study/read something law-related every day, you'll thank yourself when you arent completely scrambling to prepare for exams. That isnt to say you wont be completely scrambling, you will be, but you will get a better grade than the people who didnt do anything except fun stuff on the early weekends in the semester.

8. Don't get involved with another law student if you can possibly help it.

9. DON'T SURF THE INTERNET IN CLASS. This can only lead to poor performance, getting frozen socratically, or other embarrassing stuff, like ESPN blaring sports updates out of your laptop during Evidence when you were just trying to get the score of the Redskins game.

10. Don't think you can fart in class and no one will notice. They'll notice.

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