how was the 1st week? what did you wish youd done in preparation?
After my first week of 1L, here's what I would have done differently and/or here is what I did that I found helpful:
Read the intros to your casebooks. You may find a basis for the history of what you are studying, or some vocab or terms that may come up, procedures, etc. (IE: Demurrer). Also, read a brief history of the legal system. This helps.
You'll read cases faster as you go to pick what you want. Practice makes perfect.
Figure out how you're taking notes. I played around with this a lot this week: Word, One Note, handwriting, a hybrid of typing and writing. Some profs won't allow laptops in class. Also, if it works for you to highlight specific points in different colors, go for it. Or tabs. Do what works for you.
Regarding briefing-- at orientation, you will learn how to do this. I read all about briefing before coming to school and I tried to tackle my first case. It took me forever-- went much more quickly once I learned how my profs wanted it. So don't get too far ahead of yourself. Stay on top of the reading, but don't stay more than 2 cases or one day ahead. You run the risk of getting too far away from what you will be covering in class.
You are studying to the exam, but there is a lot of value in coming to class and learning what your professor wants. I've already a discrepancy between the E&E and what my prof asserts for battery.
One thing I recommend that works for me: Do the reading. Take notes and type your notes from the reading. Print it out and bring it to class, along with your books. Write on your class notes and then transcribe it back into your typed notes. Consolidate your notes each day... I think this is how my outline will eventually develop. I'll keep you posted.
Plan a study system... I got on campus really early the first day... a good number of other 1L's did, too. you can get a lot of studying done at the library.
Know that everyone there is really bright and motivated and everyone is used to being an A+ student. It can be very humbling. After being on this board and knowing I was going to UF while others were going to HYS, I figured this wouldn't be so bad... I was definitely mistaken in this regard. There are some incredibly bright and motivated people no matter what tier you attend.
It may be tempting to make fun of your classmates, the gunners, etc. Try to make friends with everyone. You don't know when you may need a favor or a friend.
First impressions aren't always what they are cracked up to be. These are your future colleagues.
If you study well with others, form a study group. Or just get a partner. Or if you don't study well with others, do it alone. I've opted for a partner, but I've made friends with other people in the class and other groups who plan to get together to take practice tests together.
There is a huge learning curve the first week. You'll be up early and stay up late reading. Use your LSAT reading comp skills to summarize large, dense paragraphs. Use conditional reasoning and LSAT games short-hand to take notes in the books. Know that it is going to take you a long time to read 5 pages. Don't be discouraged. As you read each case, it goes faster and gets easier to spot issues and critical points.
My study partner and I are doing E&E's hypos a couple days a week as we tackle a specific issue in class. I think this is a good opp to review what we've learned and apply it. For now, we're talking things out. Eventually, we will move to writing answers and multi-issue questions.
Give yourself a break in the day, stay hydrated, be nice and have fun!