This time of the year, when my summer job is winding down and I start to focus on the beginning of the school year, always makes me think back to the excitement and apprehension I felt before starting law school. I’m sure that tons of other about-to-be law students are out there just like I was — obsessed, clueless, and feeling kind of helpless about everything.
This recent post by Jansen reminded me exactly how I felt, though I never really resorted to directly contacting anyone. I may have, had I found a blogger I knew for a fact was attending my school. So I thought I’d follow his cue and give a little unsolicited advice.
Here it is: law school is a very different experience for everyone.
Not really all that profound, right? Here’s the thing — some people mesh well with professors while others do not; some people live and breathe their outlines while others repeat flashcards over and over; some people find study groups and succeed while others study alone successfully; some people do smashingly well in certain subjects while they crash and burn in another; some people study consistently all semester long while others cram it all in during the last few weeks; some students love a good essay question while others crave multiple choice; some students take notes by hand but most surf the internet take notes on their laptops; some students brief every case through law school while others step back and either book brief or just take quick notes over the very basics; some students don’t read a case in law school while others read every single page…
You get the picture. I can tell you what works for me, but who knows if that advice will even partially apply to you?*
I feel as though this is the best possible advice I can give to potential law students and soon-to-be-1Ls: take what works for others into account as you discover what works for you, but at the same time take it with a grain of salt. You have to be unafraid to try and fail – it will be fairly clear to you if something isn’t working. Be flexible and you will find your niche — your class prep methods, your favorite study spots, your exam prep methods. You might be any combination of the above students I’ve described — or you may find your own way to do something I’ve mentioned entirely.
Law school has been one of the best decisions I’ve made, and the hardest thing I’ve ever done. No matter what path you’re on, I wish all of the soon-to-be-1Ls the best of luck!
*If you’d like to know, feel free to ask!