First Semester vs. Second Semester

I am officially done with my first year of law school (YAY!), and I've had time to recover. I've written posts about how law school is similar to college and high school, but today I wanted to post about the difference between the first and second semester of 1L year. For me, the first and second semesters were completely different.

The first semester was difficult, as you have to adjust to life in law school. You must learn how to prepare for each class, how much time you need to prepare for each class, and what you have to do to be successful. There is a lot of work that has to be done for each class. The first semester of law school is very stressful, and you are oftentimes preoccupied with class work.

The next semester is also busy, and there is a lot of school work involved. However, the school work is a bit easier to manage, mostly because you have the first semester under your belt. You now know how to be successful and how to prepare, so you spend less time preparing. I also had more confidence going into second semester. Some classmates talked less in class second semester and seemed almost less confident. You have the experience of having the first semester under your belt to guide you through your second semester.

That doesn't mean that second semester is a walk in the park either. At my law school, I took 17 credits in the fall and 14 in the spring. Not all law schools do it this way, and many have their 1Ls take more credits in the spring than in the fall (once they have mastered the transition to law school). In addition to potentially more classes, other things start to take up your time in the second semester of your 1L year. Searching for an internship takes up a lot of time this semester. So does applications and elections for executive boards and other organizations. After internship and e-board applications, you will likely have interviews afterwards, which takes up even more of your time. 

Finals are still finals. For me and some of my classmates, we found that second semester finals were a bit more manageable and and a little less stressful than first semester finals. For me, I attributed this to being better prepared (I outlined throughout the semester, not at the end), as well as having one set of finals under my belt. Having experience makes me less stressed about things, so this really helped with finals this semester.

I have finally made it through 1/3 of law school! I am excited to have a summer off and am looking forward to my internship. The first year of law school is very stressful, but each semester is stressful in its own way. Although law school is stressful, it is good!


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