There’s no way to make it to the courtroom without the experience of studying. Here’s what individuals in your position have to say in terms of tips and recommendations on how to survive law school.
Law school requires you to read a lot- So do it!
It is said that you need 10,000 hours to master a skill. While in law school, you may need even more than that, as reading means research, analysing and memorising. Whilst there are other factors and skills to be considered; there’s no other way around it except completing the readings. This includes the newspaper, books, the laws (old and new) and current events. Moreover, you must understand what you’re reading and check how it must be interpreted. Later on, as a practising lawyer, the stock knowledge you earned from doing so will be immensely helpful. Whether you are a tax lawyer or a criminal lawyer, there is no way to avoid readings.
Acquire and maintain an efficient schedule
When undertaking research, an internship and studying, you will need to keep up with a schedule that helps you develop good studying habits. This is a way for you not to neglect the need for rest. It will give you an overview of your objectives corresponding to your plans and whether they are being met on time. Having one keeps you sane.
Build a study group or find a study buddy
Surround yourself with people that have the same aspirations; to survive and thrive in law school. This way, you can motivate each other. When one feels lazy, the other should encourage others to study productively and efficiently. You can also complement each other in terms of strengths and weaknesses. If one is good at something, it could serve as an excellent challenge to work on for the other. There are so many things that you can learn together and practice with each other. This includes public speaking, mock-up trials, and most of all, how to celebrate your achievements as a group. They will serve as a witness to your efforts. And so, in the end, you’ve got somebody to share, ponder and celebrate your hard work with.
Find time for yourself
You must allow time for yourself that does not involve the law. Travelling, spending time with your family and friends and finding a hobby are essential. You must do so reasonably and in moderation, however. ‘Reasonably’ meaning you need to stay focused on your goals. You won’t have time for anything that would take away too much focus and energy from your internship or study. You can alternatively do anything that will take your mind off the stressful demands of law school for short periods of time. Cooking, getting a massage, taking a bubble bath or watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy are good options. Allow yourself to recharge, rejuvenate and rest to make way for massive amounts of information. You don’t need to spend your whole existence studying to become a consumer lawyer!
Nurture yourself as you complete your degree
Make sure that before studying, case briefing and completing requirements and assignments, you are eating on time, giving yourself at least 30-minute exercise and can have enough rest. These basic needs are fundamental. To function adequately, you need to satisfy these above all else. Otherwise, it may stop you from reaching maximum potential.
Surviving law school could be the ultimate dream, turned into reality. But only if you are willing to work hard. It won’t hurt if you are a class (or two) ahead with the readings. Master the skill of prioritisation and choose to say no to any form of procrastination. Stay focused and driven. Don’t forget the feeling of getting your letter of acceptance for the first time.