« on: June 07, 2007, 11:34:12 AM »
Someone asked awhile ago about tips for 1L, so here are my thoughts.
Big picture things:
Never tell anyone your grades. It might not seem like a bad idea at the time, but there will always be issues.
Get to you know your classmates and lots of them. The first week of classes you will get to know a few people and think they will make excellent study mates. If you realize down the line that they dont have the same goals as you, you want to be able to have other friends as study mates.
Talk to you TAs. They had the professor before and (most of the time) will be able to tell you exactly what that professor wants.
Make friends with some 2L and 3L's. I spent a lot of time reinventing the wheel when I probably didnt have to. I mean this in reference to more then just outlines too. I spent a lot of time talking to others about what classes I should take, job interviews, ect.
Figure out how to relax. Seriously, dont work 7 days a week. Some people got really caught up in the law school game, and honestly, now they have no friends. Make sure you do something else every once in a while. Along those lines, make some non-law school friends. They can be great to keep things in check.
Do old exams. USD 1L professors have probably taught that class for the last 10 years and have lots of old exams on file.
This might sound silly, but figure out what you want from law school. I dont think too many people can balance being a club president and top 10%, so figure out what is important to you.
While lawyering skills isnt graded, its still important. The long, boring research assignments stink, but the paper writing is important. I have found that legal memos are really similar to have exams should be written. You also should probably have one writing sample from first semester for spring interviews.
Get a job for your 1L summer. Lots of people study abroad (and I am totally jealous) but if you dont have any legal experience, you should probably try to get a job. Surprisingly, a lot of the volunteer jobs through OCI are highly desired. If you want one of these jobs, you have to do some sort of legal volunteering during the school year. (I did the domestic violence shelter and VITA, ask questions if youve got em.)
And some silly things: Get there early on the Wednesday of Orientation if you want a locker. Jeans are appropriate for orientation. You dont have to actually go to all the things career services says are mandatory. Dont eat any pizza during the summer because you will get a ton once school starts. Go to the club fair and get involved in something. The library has a whole reading room of study guides for your classes (and flash cards), you dont have to buy them. Write your own outlines; they are useless otherwise. If your going to type your exams, learn to type fast. You have to be on campus before 8:15 to get parking in the law lot. Learn how to use the stupid blue book if you want to write-on to law review.
There is probably more to come in the future. Stay tuned.