How to Survive Your First Week in Law School

Attending law school is probably going to be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Your first week in particular can feel overwhelming right from the start, but never fear, we’re going to give you some helpful hints on how to navigate it all without losing your mind. It’s all going to seem pretty crazy and everything may appear like it’s moving way too fast for you to fully comprehend it all. That’s okay, you’re going to settle in and acclimate to the pacing and volume of your work sooner than you think. Here are some things to keep in mind as you get ready to enter your first week in law school…

Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself

You’ve done all of the mental preparation to steady yourself for going to law school but, in reality, you’ll never be fully prepared for any of it. Not at the start. In fact, you may find yourself completely baffled and perplexed for the most of the time. Your law school experience is not going to be like your undergrad days at Brandeis University. Your professors are going to throw an incredible amount of information at you in a short period of time. There will be a lot of reading and comprehending previous cases and statutes, many of which will be written in legalese that will be dense and unforgiving to the
untrained eye. That’s okay, just relax. Don’t expect it all to happen immediately.

Don’t Look Too Far Ahead

Stay in the present, focus on what you have in front of you at the moment. Forget about exams and major assignments due in the coming months. That will only serve to help you lose motivation and not gain it because it will all feel so hopeless. Take each project and paper as it comes along and stay focused on what’s expected of you in the here and now That way you can take in all of the information being presented in readings and other handouts and it gives you the ability to think and reflect on the cases that have been assigned right now, which will better prepare you for those upcoming exams.

Do Take Notes

They will be an invaluable resource, one that you’ll rely on throughout your time in law school or get your masters of law in taxation. Your class notes are going to be a big part of passing those exams and you’ll want to get into a routine for good note-taking from day one. How you do it is entirely up to you, a pen and notebook or typing away on a laptop or tablet. Whatever you prefer, make it work to your advantage.

But also keep in mind that taking good notes means knowing how to take those notes. Writing down everything will only make you miss out on vital information and discussions in class since you’re going to be too focused on capturing every last word spoken by your professors. Too few notes will just leave you at a total loss for important facts and data. The trick is to know what’s important and what’s not, that too will come to pass in time and you’ll start to get a feel for what you need to remember later and what can go by the wayside.

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