What To Expect At Law School Orientation
With COVID-19 vaccinations on the rise, and even required by some universities this fall, there’s a good chance that law students will likely attend in-person classes this fall. Assuming that will be the case at most schools, here’s what you can expect at law school orientation.
What To Expect At Law School Orientation
Law school orientation is designed to throw you into the deep end of the swimming pool. Part of that experience is meeting new people! You’ll likely be looped into a variety of activities designed to connect you with your future classmates. Whether it’s assigned lunch seating, ice-breaker activities, or designated orientation groups – Law schools will have something planned. Take this time to meet as many people as you can because you’ll likely interact with them during the year. As a graduating 3L, you’ll look back and retell stories of your first interactions with “so and so.”
Check out these tips on how to make the most out of law school orientation.
Expectations Will Be Set
Sticking with the whole throwing you into the pool thing (lovely we know), law schools like to scare incoming 1Ls. They usually do this through a number of orientation lectures that address just how much you’ll be studying, learning, etc.…The whole goal may seem like it is to intimidate you to the point where they’re too scared to even think about relaxing. (Their likely goal is to set expectations and be realistic about what’s to come.) This is a normal feeling and you’ll probably leave orientation thinking “I can kiss my life goodbye.” In reality, you’ll figure out a schedule and work/life balance appropriate for success. Learn how to craft the perfect law school study schedule here.
Another aspect of law school orientation is the opportunity to meet faculty. Whether it’s your future professors, the various deans, or the office staff – you want to be on your best behavior. This is a great time to “feel out” the different personalities of your future professors. Some may be warm and embracing, while others may be cold and direct. This is also a great chance to collect any helpful tips on the different likes and dislikes of each professor. For example, if a professor states that he/she “hates when students blurt out,” you’ll know what not to do.
Campus Tours/Bookstore Pickups
If you haven’t already received a tour of the university, almost every law school will have tours scheduled. This is recommended if you’re attending a law school that is part of a greater university. Although the law school is where you’ll be spending the majority of your time, it’s helpful to have a blueprint. For example, learning where to grab food, get tech help, and park your car, are all important. Additionally, many times students who ordered their books through the campus bookstore are given time to collect them during orientation. Pro tip: Law school textbooks are heavy – so be prepared! Learn more about how to gear up for law school here.
Many law schools hold a convocation towards the end of orientation and formally welcome you to the legal profession. During these gatherings, students are usually reminded of the serious undertaking they are about to embark on. Messages about community service, upholding justice, and acting morally and ethically, are all common. Depending on the law school, you may be required to take a formal “oath of professionalism.” These oaths are designed to remind you of your duties as a law student and future attorney. After all, you are going into one of the oldest professions in the world. After these ceremonies, it’s usually only a couple of days until day one of law school!
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