So this blog post is for those of you who have already finished your LSAT prep, slayed the LSAT, submitted your law school applications and have also received your acceptances! I know the rest of you are longing to be in that position and, don’t you worry, you’ll be there soon enough. Now, for those of you whom this blog post pertains to, listen up! You’re probably sitting on a few acceptances, maybe waiting on a few more and longingly looking at your name on a couple waitlists. Others of you may have even accepted offers from the school of your choice, and congrats to you. Now what?
Well, first, pat yourself on the back. You’ve jumped over this first hurdle on your way to getting your J.D. Now, there are a few things you should think about doing to get yourself ready for the grueling next year ahead of you.
(1) Learn the 1L Material Before School Starts
Now I’m not saying to read all your 1L books one round through, but many schools offer 1L prep courses over the summer that really help you get a good grasp on what to expect in your classes. It’s a really nice primer so that you won’t feel like your running to catch up with the professor during school.
(2) Practice Reading
One of the hardest things to get used to your first year of law school is the amount of reading you are expected to do nightly. Not only are you expected to do a very large amount of reading each night, but you are also expected to come prepared to class to discuss what you’ve read, thoroughly having analyzed and understood it. It’s a good idea to do a lot of reading this summer, both leisure and otherwise. I’ve known some of my students who took courses on speed-reading and they all said it really helped them. Though, if this is the route you want to pursue, make sure the course focuses on how to absorb what you are reading efficiently, rather than just how to read very quickly.
(3) Make a Realistic Study Plan & Stick to It!
Your entire law school GPA is based on one final exam for each class. This means that procrastination is your worst enemy. Before school starts, make a calendar of your final exams and work backwards on when you’d like to have your outlines and flashcards done, when you’d like to have everything memorized and when you’re taking practice exams. Then, stick to it. Make sure to take it a little easy the first couple months, but then really get into gear and stay on schedule.
(4) Seek Advice From Students (Current & Former)
These are the best people to ask advice from. They’ve been through it! They know what you will be facing and they know what they wished they could have done differently. Soak up all that knowledge and apply it as you embark on your 1L year.
Make sure to enjoy your summer. This is the last time you will have this much free time. Soon you will start on your law school path—a non-stop whirlwind of classes, studying, prepping, outlining, highlighting, writing, and reading—so take the time to smell the roses now!
So there you have it. There are still things you can do. You don’t have to sit and twiddle your thumbs, if you don’t want to. Most importantly though, really enjoy this time you have before school starts. It’ll be a summer you’ll always look back to fondly.