What Are The Best Law School Preparation Techniques? - JD Advising
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law school preparation techniques

What Are The Best Law School Preparation Techniques?

If you’re an incoming 1L student eagerly awaiting the first day of law school – welcome to JD Advising! We’re glad that you’ve stopped by to check out our library of resources. Course outlines, blog articles covering everything law school and bar exam-related, preparation courses, private tutoring – we’ve got you covered. We’ve helped thousands of students navigate law school and beyond and look forward to helping you during your legal journey. One of the most common questions that we receive from newly admitted and incoming law students centers around preparation. What exactly is the best way to prepare for your first year of law school? In short, there isn’t a “one size fits all” answer! Every incoming law student has different preferences, study styles, and approaches to preparation. Read further to see some of the best law school preparation techniques.

What Are The Best Law School Preparation Techniques?

Talk With Current Law Students

What’s a better way to learn about law school than by reaching out and speaking with a current law student? If you know anyone currently enrolled in law school, taking some time and connecting with them can be a great resource. Law students can offer insight far beyond what law school catalogs and brochures can. You can ask them questions that you might not necessarily want to ask law school faculty. Which professors are the hardest? Where’s a good study spot in the law library? How does barrister’s ball work? What’s the best way to outline? You get the idea.

If you don’t personally know anyone enrolled in law school – that’s ok! Almost every law school has a dedicated online platform for newly admitted and currently enrolled students. This is a great place to find someone and simply reach out with questions. Some law schools also offer mentorship programs for 1L students. In addition, searching your law school on LinkedIn will almost always produce a long list of current and past students. 

Get A Feel For The Material

First things first – we don’t recommend purchasing all of your textbooks months in advance only to attempt a reading marathon. This will likely leave you only with more questions than answers! Instead, get familiar with the types of legal material you will be covering during your 1L year. For example, reading recent Supreme Court cases is a great way to familiarize yourself with case structure, terminology, and context. Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything (nobody expects you to at this point!). Another idea is to simply search online for “1L cases” and see what you might find. If you do happen to have your textbooks in advance, glance at what’s inside. Again, don’t panic if you have a hard time understanding what you’re reading!

Figure Out Your Living Situation/Expenses

By now you’ve probably heard from numerous sources that law school is a stressful and often intense environment. We get it! Given the workload, responsibility, and pressure that accompanies law school – sorting out your 1L living situation and budget is recommended. Too often we see students taking on additional stress and pressure because they overlook this crucial step. The last thing anyone wants is for you to be worrying about paying your rent during final exams! Take some time and figure out where you’re living, how much it costs, and your monthly budget.

Freshen Up Your Note-Taking/Outlining Skills

Besides reading, there are two things that law school students do A LOT– note-taking and outlining. Depending on your undergraduate major and/or how long you’ve been out of school, these two skills may need some polishing. Take some time prior to the start of your 1L year to fine-tune your note-taking and outlining skills. This can help make the transition into law school, especially for STEM undergraduate majors, much easier and less taxing.

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