Someone asked for advice for new law students on a school specific board. I re-printed it here for all of you who will start school this fall.
Good luck to all of you.
General Advice for New Law Students
1. Always keep up on your reading. Never fall behind.
2. Take good notes. If you don't do this, you might as well leave now.
3. Don't skip class, it's just stupid to spend all this money to skip class. Besides, class is where you will find out most of what you need to know for the test.
4. Do your own outlines. Look at commercial outlines if you need guidance, but do your own. You will have half of the battle won in getting a great grade if you do your own outlines.
5. Don't wait until the last minute to do your outlines. Ideally, do you outlines whenever you see a major shift in the material. You will make it much easier on yourself if you do it this way. (However, don't start outlining from day one. You will not understand how things fit together until you move to a new topic).
6. Don't ever go to class unprepared. Treat your experience in law school as if you are doing on the job training as a lawyer. You would not ever walk into court unprepared and say to the judge, "I'm sorry your Honor, I didn't do my reading last night." Don't do it in law school. Your future clients deserve better.
7. Find a balance while in law school. Go out and have fun every once in awhile or find something else to do that does not involve law school. But, find that balance. Don't end up as one of those people who are at the bottom of the class or worse, kicked out because you spent law school partying. It is such a waste.
8. Learn the cases from the perspective of the trees but study from the perspective of the forest. Be able to see the forest for the trees. If you don't understand this now, figure it out soon or ask a professor what it means. For me, it was the "secret" that led to high grades.
9. Do not study the law from the "I think it should be this way" perspective. This is the biggest mistake that many students make. See the law from both sides and analyze it from both sides. Realize that, in the law, there is no such thing as a universal truth.
10. Stop...take a deep breath...and exhale. This is one of the most wonderful experiences of your life, but it can be hell if you allow it to be. Enjoy the experience, throw yourself into it heart and soul, and embrace the process of becoming an attorney. I promise you that you will freak out, question yourself and wonder if you can do this. When that happens, stop...take a deep breath...
and exhale. Then, get up again and keep going.
Good luck to all of you