You know what I would steer clear from?Being in places or around people that keep you from actually STUDYING while you're studying. I know SOOOOOO many people that said "I studied until 1:00 a.m." when really there was a fairly large amount of screwing around/ watching TV/ text messaging/ eating/ chatting in that time frame. Although you feel like you've had to stay up late to get your work done, you really didn't have to at all. during 1L, I hated studying with people that were always breaking into random stories or ordering pizza or playing Xbox because I liked to get what I needed to get done...done. If you study during study time, you'll find you have much more time than you'd imagine. May seem like a simple concept but it isnt. And Im actually a hypocrite because Im "studying" for the bar as we speak ((Do as I say, not as I do ))
It's not nearly as bad as they say it is. First semester, I had class 9:00-12:00 Monday/Wednesday, 9:00-12:00, 4:00-5:30 Tuesday/Thursday and I had Fridays off. I woke up early every day, and was at my desk at 7:00 to review that days material for two hours before class. I would come home at noon, eat lunch, then do work for a few hours, taking a break when I felt like it to eat dinner, go for a walk, go to a friend's, talk to my girlfriend, whatever. In the evenings, I usually put in a couple more hours, but rarely worked past 10:00. I agree that treating school work as a job is the best course of action. I always felt in college that people devoted more mental energy to stressing out about an assignment than just sitting down and doing it. I had several years in the work force before starting school, which I think was a big advantage. When I got an assignment, I immediately went home and did it. For larger assignments like Legal Writing papers, they required more than a day to complete, but at least beginning them straight away was a big help.The most important thing to keep in mind, though, is that the work will not stop. It is not at all like undergrad where you could slack off and then catch up at the end of the semster. You might only have 20 page assignments for law school, but one of these will be due for each and every class all semester long. Multiply this out across your four substantive law classes in a semester, and the work can become daunting. The best way to deal with this is to develop a schedule and stick to it. I work the best in the mornings, so I made sure to wake up early, but if you work better at night, then alot your time then. Just stick to it and you will stay ahead of the game. I would compare it to running along a moving train. As long as you stay just in front you will be fine, if you get behind your screwed. A few weeks into the semester, I noticed that I had much more free time than I had originally anticipated. This actually made me nervous. I thought that I was missing something or maybe simply not being thorough enough. I actually scheduled an appointment with a professor to talk about it, and he assured me that having free time was perfectly normal.One final thing. Early in the semester I busted my tail and worked a couple of days ahead, finishing my work for Monday and Tuesday before my last class on Thursday. I stayed to this schedule the rest of the year. From then on, I was doing the same amount of work each day, only two days ahead. For example, on Monday my goal would be to finish all of Wednesday's work. On Thursday, I was working on Tuesday's work for the next week. This was invaluable. First, it allowed me to keep my weekends free for much of the semester. Second, when a big assignment like a Legal Writing paper or a Moot Court brief came due, I had some fudge room in my schedule during which I could skip daily assignments without getting behind. Third, once it came time to begin outlining, I had entire weekend to work on my them, never sacrificing the daily assignments. I very much enjoyed first year. I hope you will too. Good luck.
1L is the h4rd35t EVAR.Actually not really, it was even fun for me. Although maybe I would've have less fun if I had done poorly.Also you should recognize that law school likely will affect your interaction with non-law school friends. Why? Well, in many respects, you'll just have less to talk about unless you're going to regale them with wonderful tales of torts. I found that the weeks around finals there was no use talking to non-law school people that much - all you're thinking about is finals and they don't care THAT much.