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Prepare Your Life for Law School

June 16, 2017

 

If you're getting ready for law school check this out: we put together a free e-book called the “Ultimate Pre-Law Checklist.” Just click the link below to download it. It's some of our best tips and strategies for getting ahead before you start law school, and it will put you miles ahead of your classmates, just click here.   

It's no secret that law school is incredibly stressful.

 

So many lawyers I know say that law school was the worst part of their entire lives. Now it doesn't necessarily need to be that way. You can do yourself a huge favor by making your life in law school as easy as possible, and here are the best ways of getting your life in order so that your life in law school is as good as it can be.

 

Here's my first piece of advice: get an apartment that is as close to campus as possible.

 

I know it's expensive it can't be helped. But if it was between having roommates and living far away from campus, I would take the roommates. You're making an investment in law school, and if that means that you're going to have to pay a little bit more in rent to live closer to campus, I would recommend it. Avoiding a commute can save you literally hours a day, and that's time that you can use to either A) study more or B) relax. Both of which are incredibly important when you get to law school.

A friend of mine went to law school in Los Angeles- he lived in West LA, but he went to school in East LA. That means that he had, in general, a 90-minute commute each way - he lost three hours every day he went to class. Now, law school is a marathon, it's not a sprint - you want to work a reasonable amount every day. Adding an extra hour or two because you’re commuting is just a recipe for disaster, so if you can do it, I highly recommend living as close to campus as possible.

 

That brings me to my next tip: get the right technology when you start.

Now that means a new computer, potentially a tablet, a laser printer- these things will make your life so much easier. See our first blog post on the things I wish I had when I was in law school. The recap: get a laptop with solid-state drive- one that has a very long battery life. Not all law schools have electrical outlets readily available, so you want a good laptop that will last you a long time, and preferably one with cloud storage so that you don't lose your important notes and your outlines.

 

My next tip is related to the technology and that is: if you have the time, get your typing speed up. While law school exams are not a brain dump in the same way that undergrad exams tend to be, you still have a huge premium by being able to type what you need to type as quickly as possible. You can get more points simply by virtue of being able to type faster and more accurately than your peers. If you have some time in the summer before law school, practice your typing- whether it's Mavis Beacon, Mario Teaches Typing, or whatever the new typing software is out there - I would use it and get your typing speed up. I'd aim for a hundred words per minute- it will serve you for the rest of your life.

 

Next: get your personal relationships in check.

It's a sad fact, but most couples break up during law school. If your relationship is going south, or if you don’t see a future with that person, it's better to end it now. Law school is a time to focus, and if that means ending a bad or mediocre relationship, do it before you get to law school because you'll be happy that you did.

 

And deal with your health.

Law school is stressful, and your priorities are not going to be on yourself, so in the summer before law school, deal with your health ahead of time. Get a check-up, get a dentist appointment, do it so that you're not worried about that during your first year. There is no better way to derail your finals than getting sick right before you take your first exam.

 

Next: mentally prepare. Do a little research, read "One L," watch the movie "The Paper Chase." You're going to be putting in some long hours, so I would recommend doing some research ahead of time to find out what law school is going to be like. Now obviously those are dramatizations, so they're not entirely accurate. Both "One L" and "The Paper Chase" take place in the 70’s, and law school has changed, however, it gives you a general idea of what you're going to face.

 

This is especially important: learn how to hack law school.

Doing well in law school and especially on essay exams is not a dark art, there is a science to it. This is the number one missed opportunity, learning how to take law school exams. Don't worry about learning the law itself, there will be plenty of time in law school to understand torts and contracts and Civil Procedure. In law school, your grades are determined entirely based on your performance on your final exam. And what's worse, is that it's graded on a curve so the professor even if s/he wanted to give out all A's, is limited and can only give out say five A's per class. Law school final exams are almost always issue spotting exams, and issue spotting exams are just like the LSAT. There are strategies and tactics that can help you do better and the more you practice the better you get at them. It's so important to learn how to take law school exams. At Legal Eagle, we offer an entire course on how to take issue spotting exams.

 

 

Additionally, use the time before law school to get your resume, your letters of rec, and your references in order. What nobody tells you about law school is that you're going to apply for your summer jobs in the middle of your 1L year. It can be incredibly stressful because you're preparing for exams that you've never seen before, you're learning law that you have no frame of reference for, and in the middle of that you still have to apply for jobs during the summer.

 

So those are the best ways to get your life in order before you start law school. You can do yourself a huge favor by making small tweaks that will make a huge difference in your law school career. Law school is stressful enough, the last thing you want to do is not prepare ahead of time for things that could have a huge impact during your law school career.

 

 

If you're getting ready for law school check this out: we put together a free e-book called the “Ultimate Pre-Law Checklist.” Just click the link below to download it. It's some of our best tips and strategies for getting ahead before you start law school, and it will put you miles ahead of your classmates, just click here.   

 

 

Watch the full YouTube video here

 

 

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