Hello all! Are you currently a 0L patiently waiting for 1L to start in August and unsure of what to do? Well, this blog is for you! I promise I will make this short, sweet, simple and (hopefully) painless as possible. I know I have been trying to get this blog out for a couple of weeks now, but life has been busy. 1L summer is BUSY!
With that being said, my biggest advice is to enjoy your freedom! I could end the post right now with just that sentence, but y’all should know by now that I am not. When I was a 0L impatiently waiting for 1L to start I did entirely too much. I bought and read three books and worked a full-time and part-time job. I will list out those 3 books because I know some of y’all are bound to do something while you wait.
- 1L of a Ride by Andrew J McClurg
- Getting to Maybe by Richard Michael Fischl & Jeremy Paul
- Law School Confidential: A complete Guide to the Law School Experience by Robert H. Miller
- Black Laws Dictionary (This purchase could’ve waited and you get it for free on Westlaw if you like electronic)
Although these books were great, it did not prepare for what was to come. I learned as I went along through my experience. Everyone will experience law school differently. What worked for one person may not work for another person. I didn’t realize what I needed to do in 1L until I was in the position of experiencing 1L.
I know it is very tempting to look up class concepts for the classes you will be taking in the Fall (or Spring, if you’re a Spring admit), but I highly advise against it. I say this because the professors will teach you exactly what you need to know. Some people word things differently to get the same point across. It is important that you use your professors terminology that they say in class because they are the ones testing you/giving you the exam. I have had professors say they want people to memorize and put down a phrase word for word in order to get full points. You can still do fine although you do not know concepts on the first day of class. Law school is meant to teach you what you need to know for the bar and practice, so you do not need to know it all on the first day. It is okay to not know at first. I will admit that I had NO idea what was going on after all my classes, but it is a part of the process. I ended up knowing it by the time the final came around and that is all that matters. A second reason I would advise against this is because you do not know what your professor will teach you or in what order they will teach it. I was going to study warranties for my contracts class and we ended up running out of time and not being able to cover it. This can also come up if you have the same class for two semesters. What you looked up could been taught in the next semester and not the one you are in.
Overall, enjoy the summer! Go take a trip, go to the beach, sleep… a lot, spent time with your family, friends and loved ones, do everything now because once you start you’re going to be hitting the ground running. I go to school 1,500 miles away from home and I LOVE the fact that I spent most my time with family and friends before I left. This is because I don’t get to see them often and I sometimes don’t get to talk to them as much as I would like. I am currently in my 1L summer and it has been busy. I have an externship, and taking 2 other classes. I work at a small law firm, so I get to see and do a lot. I have not had much freedom and have not been home for 6 months. This year, I will be busy with classes and now adding work into mix while still trying to be involved on campus by holding an executive position for a student organization, being a student ambassador, trying out for Trial Advocacy etc. Next summer, I plan to work and take classes again, then the year and summer after that I will be preparing for the bar. My freedom is now limited and I am glad that I took a little break before coming.
Have a great summer!