Student Post: 1L Recap

by Andrew ’16

Classes are over. Actually, they have been over for a few weeks…but when you throw in Reading Week and Finals Week, it feels like school just keeps going and going. Then suddenly, the first year is over. I feel like it comes somewhat abruptly, most likely because one day I was engaging every single brain cell I have and the next day I was doing the opposite. In fact, I think that once finals were over, my brain cells just passed out.

Only a few months ago I was more nervous and excited than I think I have ever been, walking up to Dockser Hall on the first day of school. Prior to that first day, I had made a playlist of some good songs to get me excited for embarkation on my new life and career. The plan was to ‘jam out’ on my way to my first day of law school to help calm the jitters. However, I was so nervous walking to school from my condo that I forgot to listen to the playlist. Earphones were in and everything, but I just never pressed play. Fast forward a few months, I rediscovered that playlist on my way to my first ever law school final. Let me tell you, it is a good playlist! The point of the story is that it does not matter how much you plan for something or how well executed the plan is, there is only so much you can control. The fact is that law school is a shock to the system. Let yourself get used to it. Your playlist will be there when you are ready to listen.

So, if you are reading this prior to your first year of law school, here is some advice from someone who has officially survived 1L:

  1. “Pay attention and think!” Professor Steve Subrin told us this nugget of advice on the first day of orientation. Most negative things can be avoided by heeding these four words.
  2. Sleep. There comes a point where you can work just a little longer, but you may get more out of doing it the next day.
  3. Find a friend. Or find twelve, but find them and cherish them because you will be seeing A LOT of them over the next few months. Law school is fun when you are surrounded by people you like.
  4. Move. The best way to stay sane is to get out of the library. Set down the casebooks and take a break. Even if it is just for a few minutes, I promise that Civil Procedure can make more sense after a walk to get coffee or a jog at the gym (which is across the street from the library…in other words, no excuses).
  5. Breathe. Though self-explanatory, I was surprised by how often I had to remind myself to do so. Good luck and see you in August!

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