I have officially survived my first two weeks of law school! Let me tell you, it lives up to the hype. Although my classes are hybrid, half online and half in-person, I definitely still felt the workload. While going through these two weeks, that really felt like 2 months, I realized that I’m definitely not the only one going through this struggle and decided to write a post about it! Here is what I learned my first week of law school.
What, Like It’s Hard?
Law school can seem super intimidating for some because of the workload and getting cold called in class, however, don’t let this discourage you! Whether you’re planning on going to law school or starting soon, this post is for you! This is what my experience has been like so far.
At first, I was going to write this post after my first week, but was trying to keep my head over water with all of the work I had to do and getting adjusted to my new schedule. But, I just finished my second week and I’m definitely getting the hang of it. I figured I would give you a play by play of what my life has been like so far.
My First Week of Law School
My first week of law school was definitely a struggle because of the amount of readings that were due the first day of classes. Also, when it comes to reading for your classes, there are a bunch of cases to review that have to be briefed as well. My schedule is seven days a week and I have class everyday at 10:30AM and on Friday’s at 10:00AM. Before classes started on Monday, I had to catch up on all my readings and let me just tell you, there is NO syllabus day in law school, so you have to be prepared. First day of class you’re getting called on to talk about a case you should have briefed.
However, I made it through the week all while struggling to find the time to study, read for my classes, and have time for myself. Also, if you know me, you’ll know that I’m a major planner! I found a way to put everything that I had to do throughout the week into a Google Sheets daily planner spreadsheet. I also realized that if I wanted to get more studying and reading time in, I had to wake up a lot earlier than class.
How I’m Surviving
I started a schedule where I wake up at 7am everyday, make a quick smoothie and get right into some readings and review my notes for the class that day. It’s helped me plan my time out a lot better and makes my life so much easier! Another thing that SAVED MY LIFE, was OneNote. Before law school, I used to do all of my papers on Word and was always super worried about the space on my laptop and didn’t like how unorganized it was.
I would have to go through a mission to find my notes for classes and had to go through a bunch of folders. However, at my law school orientation, someone mentioned it and it has made my life so much easier. I was able to make a folder for each class in OneNote and in those folders, I could make additional ones for each chapter gone over in that class. It’s also super easy to highlight, add notes, or other things that help give my notes more structure.
After my first week, I can genuinely say that I’m getting a hang of this! I always see so many posts about people being extremely stressed out in law school and not sleeping, but I promise you can get through it. Also, try to get at least 7 hours of sleep!! This is just important for your health and will make sure you’re focused throughout the day. Although I’m not one to get stressed, I can understand that some people might have different experiences, but again, don’t let the idea of law school or the anxiety that people surround it with to scare you from trying.
Also, I realized how important it was to take some time to myself because my first week I was going 100mph trying to learn as much as I could. It’s easy to get caught up, but I found a day that I would take for myself every week to relax, do some self-care, and work on my blog, it’s also the one day in my week that I don’t have a 10am. I always work super hard at the start of my week to get one day closer to my self-care day.
You Will Read A Lot
This is a given when it comes to law school, but like I said there is no syllabus day here. At the start of your classes you should’ve already read the 70 pages assigned and briefed every case in the reading. Also, reading in law school isn’t just okay I’m gonna read it, find a brief, and it’s over. Nope, you have to sit there and read it until you understand what you’re supposed to be learning from it.
I generally take an hour to read for each class and take a small break in-between. Or if I have a free morning, I’ll just be reading until lunch time. I usually schedule it into my daily planner so I know what I’m going to do for the day.
I’ve gotten this advice from so many people that I know that have gone to law school. That study groups are essential to studying for classes. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and all of the rules on campus it’s definitely made that a little difficult. It’s a lot harder to socialize in class as we’re all just preparing and going over notes and talking with your mask on isn’t super comfortable.
However, I was able to find a group to study with over Zoom (not the same in my opinion, but it works)! We’re all just waiting for the day we can all socialize and actually see each others faces in person. If we weren’t going through this right now though, I would be socializing with everyone in class and connecting with them because just because we’re in law school it doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun!
Okay, law school professors are SUPER intimidating because they will ruthlessly call you out in class and take no sh*t. However, we all come into law school with little to no knowledge about our legal courses so it’s okay to get things wrong and ask questions, even if you think they’re stupid. Trust me, you get over the embarrassment because you learn SO much from it. Participation, I’ve learned is key because I have learned so much more from my professors correcting me then I would’ve if I stayed quiet.
Another note, I feel like it’s so important to build relationships with your professors. I met up with all of my professors just to talk to them! They’re completely different outside of class and will value the fact that you want to hear about them. I wanted to get to know them and see how they got their degree, advice they could give me, etc. They were able to get to know me better and now I feel more comfortable asking them questions one-on-one about our class.
What, like it’s hard?
Although it’s a lot of work, the reward will be so worth it! At one point when I was just drowning in work, I reminded myself that I can do this and you can too if you’re seriously thinking about it. I’m ONE step closer to being a lawyer and I know I’ll get the hang of this in no time.
I also hope you guys are all staying safe if you’ve started classes at school already and I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you’re considering going to law school, if you’ve taken the LSAT, and other topics you’d like me to touch on. Here are also some of my favorite cocktails if you need a little relaxation this weekend.
Your Favorite Future Esquire.