Friday, November 15, 2013

Some Do's and Don'ts thus far...

By Marlee, 1L

DO realize that books are heavy! I was that naïve girl hoping to use my beloved arm candy to trek my case books around. However, I soon realized that I was not stylish, I was lopsided. I had an aching right shoulder and a broken arm-strap before I finally decided to upgrade [or maybe it was downgrading?]. Anyways, I am now sporting a large Burton bag. It is almost the size of me, but hey, it has many compartments and I am no longer lopsided! Rolling backpacks, normal backpacks, whatever your preference is, you have to find what will get the job done!

DON’T get caught up in all the negative things you read on the internet. Of course I have searched “law school, law school survival, help I’m going to law school, freaking out about law school...,” and let’s be honest, some of the results are not the most positive. But the good news is, law school is what you make of it. It is challenging, difficult, and probably different than anything you have ever done before. Succeeding at anything takes commitment and hard work, and law school requires the same dedication. Look at law school as an opportunity and a privilege that most individuals do not have. If you have the chance, take advantage of all the great things law school has to offer instead of getting caught up in someone else’s negative experience.

DO read and go to class! The Socratic Method is real my friends. However, it exists in degrees. Some teachers don’t use it at all, while some take full advantage of their power to put you on the spot. Be prepared. If nothing else, it gives you a little extra fuel for your fire to help you keep on top of reading. And to be honest, you NEED to be prepared for class to understand what is actually going on. Whether or not your teacher is a fan of Mr. Socrates, do your job and read.

DON’T be afraid of teachers! In undergrad I was the last person to make use of office hours, mostly because a teacher slammed the door on me once. While I thought I was forever scarred, I have overcome my fear and so far have had no doors slammed on me. Honestly, office hours are SO helpful. It’s easy to miss something lectured in class that a professor will take the time in office hours to clarify. Also, it's the best way to understand what exactly your professor is looking for on the exams and papers.

Lastly, DO enjoy your time in law school. While there will be days filled with stress and cramming, it is a unique experience. You usually don’t get the opportunity to drop in during a lunch-time lecture and listen to an awesome defense attorney speak, test out a lie-detector machine, or visit a jail (which I will be doing in a few weeks). In law school you get that opportunity! So stay positive, buy a backpack, and embrace law school with the glass half-full mindset.

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