Advice to Rising 1Ls

I officially have a full week of my internship under my belt, and it has been AMAZING so far. I've been able to visit a federal prison, as well as work on real cases and meet with real attorneys. It seems unreal that I can do so just being a rising 2L. I am really loving my internship, but that is not what this post is about. I want to continue my series on 1L Prep. Many of you will be starting your first year of law school soon. And while that is very exciting, it can also be extremely intimidating. Last week I posted about The Summer Before Your 1L Year, and this week I want to give some broad, general advice that I wish I would've known or followed going into law school.

This may seem obvious, but if you've decided where you are going, make sure you have put your seat deposit down and informed other schools that you will not be attending.  This allows waitlisted students to bump off of the waitlist and onto the accepted list.

Going along with that, if you haven't done so already, look into housing. As it gets closer to the school year, housing will only become less available, and the search will be more stressful. I recommend asking your law school what landlords or apartment complexes their students like. They may even have lists of current students who are looking for roommates! One thing to keep in mind while looking is whether or not you want to live in a largely undergrad area. Many law students don't want to because these environments are less conducive to studying. Ask the landlord or current students about the reputation and environment of a place before you sign a lease.

Buy school supplies now. This way in case you don't have time in between orientation, meeting everyone, and the start of school, you will have some supplies. Also buy school supplies that help you study. Law school studying is different than studying in undergrad, but make sure to start with what you know works for you and adjust as you go. Pro tip: stock up on highlighters and note cards now. Your future self will thank you for it.

Look up any important dates- school and personal life related- and get them on your calendar now. Put dates of your final exams in as soon as you get them. Once you know any breaks from school, put them in your calendar. Any weddings or trips back home should also go into your planner. That way they are on your radar and you won't forget about them. Nothing is worse than having a stressful week at law school and realizing your cousin's wedding is the next week and that you now have to get ready for that too.

Doctor's appointments. Schedule these now and if possible, try to get them out of the way before law school starts. The first semester of your 1L year is incredibly busy, and you don't want to have to be scheduling anything during it that you could've gotten done earlier. Make sure everything is done so when law school starts, you can focus on it.

Get your forms in! Pretty much all law schools require you to get some forms in- whether that be a vaccination form, your final transcript, etc. Make sure to be on the ball with this stuff and get it in before deadlines.

Don't do too much prep work. Some rising 1Ls think they have to read all the hornbooks, treatises, and other supplements on the classes they will be taking this year. While you can do this, I don't recommend it for a couple of reasons: 1) It takes a LOT of time. 2) The law can be very confusing and reading shortened explanations of it (meant to be as a review for those who have already learned it) can make it more confusing. 3) You may read about things your professor never goes over. 4) You may also read some things that your professor disagrees with or provides a different way of doing it. Unless you feel like you really need to do prep work, I don't recommend doing it.

If you haven't already, start working on your professional wardrobe. Make sure you have at least one or two business professional suits to wear to orientation, networking events, and any interviews. You probably don't need to have too many right now, but definitely start with one or two for those occasions you will need one.

For right now, that completes my advice to rising 1Ls. However, there is a good chance that I will post a part two later in the summer as I think of even more things I wish I knew or wish I did before law school. If there is anything specific you want advice about, leave your thoughts in the comments!

In law,



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