Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The End of the Beginning: 1L Fall Finals

Three months into law school and the work is piling up. We have completed midterms and Graded I (our first memo). More importantly, we have received our first grades. Now we are working hard to finish Graded II (our second memo) and preparing resumes and writing samples to submit for summer employment applications. We are also setting strategies and study schedules for finals. The stress is palpable.

The summer employment options for a 1L are still a bit of a mystery to me. Most 1L positions are unpaid and few firms offer positions for first-year students; 1Ls simply don’t know enough yet. Most students are eyeing judicial externships. They are prestigious and very competitive placements in judges’ chambers. My understanding is, however, that they are more appropriate for people interested in litigation rather than transactional work. I’ve spoken with my career advisor as well as second- and third-year students about other opportunities. I have another career advising appointment next week so hopefully, I’ll soon have a more comprehensive game plan to take on the summer.

Regarding my academics, I’ve spent most of my time in the library up to this point. I hate to say but I prefer to study alone and then review in a group though I expect that will change soon. As finals approach quickly, I regret that I haven’t availed myself of professors’ office hours more aggressively but I’m quickly rectifying that mistake. Past exams are available in the library and our professors have made their additional exams available online. I’ve tried my hand at a couple of midterm essays for my first final – Contracts. My priority right now is to refine my outlines, which are essentially road maps to spot issues and answer exam questions in each class. Between office hours, outlines, and practice exams, the workload has definitely started to shift toward review. We’ll all soon see if our plans and work pay off.

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