What To Expect In Your First Week of Law School

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If you, like me, are headed into your last week of freedom summer before starting your first year of law school, you may be trying to figure out what those first few weeks of school will look like. Because I’m more neurotic than you, I’ve saved you the trouble and pored over blogs and forums and orientation workbooks myself. Here’s what I’ve dug up:

Don’t worry too much about memorizing the Constitution or anything before class. Many students think they need to either catch up on obscure statutes or try to get an edge over their classmates; neither is the case. In fact, the general consensus seems to be that you should appreciate these last couple casebook-free weeks. Hit the beach, read some Nick Sparks, enjoy the end of your summer.

Cold-calling. Big thing in law school, and different from most undergraduate experiences. Cold-calling involves springing questions on students, usually about details of the previous night’s reading. Which leads me to my next point…

Butt-load of reading. Truly. And, in part because of cold-call culture, it’s imperative that you stay on top of it, because you don’t want to seem like a delinquent in front of professors and peers if you haven’t prepared sufficiently to answer questions. Most people I spoke with recommended reviewing outlines and sites like http://www.oyez.org/ for supplemental assistance.

With all that said, you probably won’t have much in the way of actual “homework assignments.” Many law schools base grades entirely off of the final exam. This can be troublesome for the procrastinator: don’t let the lack of structure throughout the semester cause you to get behind come finals week.

Any other advice? Further questions? Comment below!

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