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How to Survive and Succeed in Your First Year in Law School

How to Survive and Succeed in Your First Year in Law School

How to Survive and Succeed in Your First Year in Law School
While college students can spend their first year with plenty of free time, in law school, it is quite different. A law student’s freshman year, referred to as 1L, is the most critical.

Classes in the first year can be large and intimidating. And the curriculum is well-established. Normally, professors base grades on a student’s final exams graded blindly with a fixed curve, also with quotas for each grade. A 1L grade is also crucial because it can determine future job opportunities, law review eligibility, and other applications.

For you to prosper and pass through this daunting year, follow these tips that we provided.

Narrow your focus

Studying law encompasses different disciplines but it is best if you narrow down your focus on what interests you. You surely wouldn’t want to end up taking a major on a subject that you had little inclination to. Make the most out of your study. All the successful previous law students have chosen to pursue a clear career path to achieve the most of the given opportunities.

Of course, there will always be room for intellectual curiosity. But it may be beneficial to you if you study further than take risky steps in different directions. Know what type of setting works best for you.

Annotate readings

Law schools are known for heavy readings. And it is quite different from those textbooks and classics readings assigned in college. It can be tough but there’s a way to overcome this.

To easily remember important notes in discussions, outline its concepts. Stay on top of your readings by briefing cases and develop your own style on how to make remembering things simpler. This way, when you’re called for a recitation, you’ll know where to find certain notes.

Use study aids

Organize necessary information in your case briefs and outlines by using study aids. Invest in planners and hornbooks. These simple tools can be a great help in making your study easier and more convenient.

Study aids are universal and contain a lot of knowledge that may not be useful for your study. Use these aids only to clarify things that confuse you.

Always come prepared

Law professors love surprise recitations and quizzes. They tend to use the Socratic method in 1L classes to know if you understand the discussion. Professors might be intimidating and serious to command attention in the classroom. However, outside the classroom, they engage well with students. You can attend review sessions to get to know your professors, ask for advice, and seek clarification.

Join extracurriculars

One good way to keep you away from 1L stress is joining extracurricular activities in your free time. It gives the chance for students to be away for a while from readings while socializing with fellow students. Even if away, law students can apply their knowledge to real-life situations. Indeed, learning is a non-stop process.

Engaging in such activity may also be useful in narrowing your career interests. You can assist defense attorneys or prosecutors in building their arguments. This way, you will be able to apply the things you learned in class.

Being a freshman, especially in a law school, can be overwhelming. But if you get through it right, your 1L will leave you with good grades, motivated school life, career interests, and a life-long relationship with new friends.

Having trouble in your first year in college? Check out our other articles here at MSM Unify to learn more about how to overcome college woes.

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