How 2L Year is Different from 1L Year

Around this time of year, 1Ls are swamped with reading, legal research and writing assignments, and are already being told they need to start thinking about next summer. They're also being told that next year will be better. So what is the difference between 1L year and 2L year and is 2L year is really better than 1L year??

In some ways, yes. In others, no.

Compared to 1L year, coursework is a lot easier and the class load is a lot lighter. My first semester of law school, I was in 17 credits. Right now, I'm in 13. The classes I'm in also seem easier. In reality, they probably aren't, but getting to pick your classes means that you are more interested in them and more motivated to study. I also have a full year of law school under my belt, so I know what to expect and how to prepare for classes and finals. There is also the flexibility to design your own schedule, which is also very nice. A HUGE difference between the coursework in 21 year compared to 1L year is that you don't have legal research and writing classes. This took up a LOT of my study time last year, as we would have multiple things due each week, and larger assignments due about every other two weeks. As a 2L, I don't have any research or writing classes this semester.

However, 2L year is filled with more extracurricular activities that 1L year. For example, moot court (at my school) is in full swing right now and just last week, we had a 35 page brief due for it. I am not in any journal, but for my classmates who are, they have assignments due frequently. People in clinics have similar time commitments.

Also many 2Ls are involved in student organization leadership, and depending on the organization, this can mean weekly meetings or rarely any meetings. For some organizations, we rarely meet, but I have to do lists of various things to complete every week. Also, all of the events that were optional your 1L year may be mandatory as a 2L on exec.

So while studying and class work is easier and more manageable your 2L year (as compared to 1L year), most 2Ls are fairly busy with extracurricular activities. There is much more of a balance with school and other things in your 2L year as compared to your 1L year. So yes, overall, it does get better 1Ls. Plus, being on executive boards, on journal, in clinics, and other activities are fun. They can open doors to opportunities you didn't know existed, and you get to meet great people while doing so.


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