Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Summary of 1L: Part 2

I've been working on this for awhile.

Here's a link to the Summary of 1L: Part 1.

As for part 2, I wanted to answer a few more questions that I had before I started my adventure last September.

3. Is There Anything I Should Do Before I Start?

In a word. No. But ... if you're like me and you feel a lot more comfortable with doing SOMETHING to prepare yourself for the great unknown, then I have a few suggestions.

a. Read The Law School Book: Succeeding at Law School by Allan C. Hutchinson.
This book is great. I even kept reading it throughout my first year for tips on assignments, exams, etc. There are more books like this ... I'm sure that they're all helpful, but I only read this one.

b. Read the How To Brief a Case link on my sidebar. This link was given to us 1L's from our Property Professor near the beginning of the year. It helps, even though it's from an American site, it's got a solid explanation of the case briefing process.

c. Don't worry about getting your textbooks early. A lot of ours weren't even IN until the first week of school, and at U of S the LSA puts on their own used book sale in our law lounge, so I'd wait for that (if you're like me and really hate spending more money than you have to). Yes, older books are OK, if you're missing a case, you can always get it from Westlaw or Quicklaw or something (you'll find out about these later on in the first semester), or let your prof know and they'll frequently help you out by making copies of it available for you.

d. Think about what extra-curricular activities you're interested in participating in. Most extra-curricular stuff starts up pretty quick in September. Whether it's Campus Legal Services, Pro Bono or any of those clubs, your student government, or even the sports .. think about how many things you want to do, and what they are, because this will sneak up on you before you know it!

4. What's the Deal With Study Groups?

Before I got to law school, I read a lot about the study group. I read many things that touted how useful they are, and emphasized the need to get into one right away. My take? Study groups are great, but I found that I got the benefit of group studying without the formalized weekly (or more) meeting of an official study group. You certainly won't need one for awhile ... they really do EASE you into law school off the start. By the time you find that you want study partners, just ask some peeps to meet at a coffee shop or something. Our class really did have a "we're all in it together" attitude (even though there were a few that weren't into sharing, for the most part, people wanted to help each other out). The BEST thing I did relating to the study group was to meet a group of my classmates 4 hours before each final exam to go over practice problems. We all (mostly) knew our stuff by then, and by the time we sat to write our exams, we had all been in the right mindset for awhile. At that point, it feels good to have your classmates affirm your exam strategy ... boosts the ol' confidence.

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