Law School

Tips for 1Ls, 2Ls, and 3Ls

By August 31, 2015 November 15th, 2016 No Comments
Tips for 1Ls, 2Ls, and 3Ls

No matter if you’re eagerly awaiting an acceptance letter or counting down the days until graduation, it’s important to make the most of each year of law school. After all, you only have 3 years to learn the law, build meaningful relationships, and make an impact on campus before becoming a full-time lawyer! Follow these tips, specifically constructed for 1Ls, 2Ls, and 3Ls, to make this year count.
Tips for 1L

  • Don’t slack. One common misconception is that the first year of law school is not as important as other years, when realistically it sets the course of your success as a law student. Take your first year seriously by prioritizing your GPA now – your future 3L self will thank you for it.
  • Network with your professors. This includes listening intently during lectures, engaging with them during and after class, and completing assignments to the best of your ability in order to earn their respect as a future lawyer. Not only are your professors a useful teaching tool, but they have connections that can benefit you when searching for jobs in the future.
  • Don’t sacrifice exercise and sleep for studying. Undoubtedly, you will be overwhelmed with work during law school and may feel obligated to neglect the gym and stay up late to study instead. However, exercise and sleep have been proven to boost memory, improve mood, and reduce stress, so swapping studying for these two activities from time to time will ultimately sustain your long-term health during law school.
  • Take advantage of the academic and social activities available on campus. They are designed to help you learn, meet your peers, and discover new interests. Not to mention, it will look great on your resume.
  • Know how you learn best. Identify whether you are a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner, then study using techniques that support your preferred learning style. Doing this will allow you to maximize your time and learn new law concepts faster. See AdaptiBar’s learning style blog post for more useful tips! 

Tips for 2L

  • Revise your goals. Assess your strengths and weaknesses from your first year, making note of anything you would like to improve on, or set new goals before starting your 2L year. Write them down in a visible location where you will be reminded of them daily.
  • Explore your interests. Attend networking events and enroll in classes that peak your interest. This will give you time to determine areas of law that you may consider as a specialty in the future, for example criminal law or bankruptcy.
  • Practice professionalism. According to Forbes, the top 5 qualities in an applicant that employers seek when hiring are professionalism, high-energy, confidence, self-monitoring, and intellectual curiosity. Demonstrate these attributes when interviewing for jobs as well as throughout the course of your law school career to develop habits that will propel you into the future.
  • Get feedback. From attending mock job interviews to speaking with your professors, seek advice from outside sources about how you can improve your lawyering skills. That way, you can refine them before obtaining or applying for long-term positions.
  • Take more credits. If possible, consider taking on more credits now rather than putting them off until your final year. This will provide you with greater flexibility in your 3L schedule, which you can use to socialize or get a head start on finding a permanent position out of law school.

Tips for 3L

  • Confirm your specialty. What type of lawyer do you want to be? While the answer to this question may change throughout the course of your career, it’s important to know where you see yourself after graduation to simplify your job search. If you haven’t already, commit to a specialty and apply to firms that focus on that area.
  • Keep your GPA up. Even if you already have a job lined up, you never know when you may need to show your transcript or resume to your employer or an outside source. If your grades need a boost, use this year to speak with professors about your work and determine the best way to achieve your goals.
  • Start the job search early. If you haven’t already, getting an early start to your job search before graduation will help you stand out from the competition and give you more time to study for the upcoming bar exam.
  • Begin bar prep. Start writing your outlines, order your books, and take a bar prep course offered at your school to get a head start on preparing for the bar exam. This will give you more time to convert new information into your long-term memory and flexibility in your schedule to swap studying for free time activities, greatly reducing your post-grad stress level.
  • Enjoy yourself! Before too long, you’ll receive your J.D. and will most likely never see the inside of a classroom again. Even if you’re studying or working a majority of the year, set aside some time each week to socialize, relax, and enjoy your final year of law school. Who knows, you may just end up missing it!

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