With all this talk about law school admissions, you might have overlooked the fact that you’ll soon be attending law school and taking actual law school courses. The journey to law school doesn’t end with admissions, after all – getting accepted marks just the beginning!
Law school courses are known for being demanding. They’re text-heavy and require top-notch reading and writing skills. The importance of your first-year law courses can’t be overlooked, either – your performance in these classes will largely determine how and where you’ll be interning during the next summer. How can you prepare for the rigors of law school academics and set yourself up for success?
1. Familiarize yourself with the curriculum.
Find out what you’ll be learning in your law school’s curriculum and prepare yourself by reviewing those concepts before you get to campus. Let’s say, for example, that your school will cover contracts, torts, property, criminal law, and civil procedure. Do some advance research on your own so you’re not totally lost when your professors start lecturing.
2. Practice your reading skills.
If you thought the Reading Comprehension section of the LSAT was a hurdle, you’ll want to sharpen your reading skills before law school starts. While you might have been able to get away with skimming class materials in college, that won’t be the case in law school. Legal texts are dense and require you to pay serious attention to your reading. Get accustomed to reading legal documents and briefs – you can find law journals and case descriptions both online and from the library.
3. Talk with current law students.
Network with a current student attending the law school you’ll be attending. Introduce yourself as an incoming student and ask what they would recommend you do to prepare for classes. It always helps to have insider information about who the challenging professors are, who assigns the most work, and whose teaching style is most effective.
4. Commit to a study schedule.
Procrastination might not have affected your academics in college much, but it will absolutely affect your academics in law school. Your performance will be measured solely on your final exams, so you’ll need to keep up with information on your own throughout the course. Make sure you’re aware of the ongoing commitment you’ll need to make to your studies, and stick with it.