10 Things to Do the Summer Before Law School
1. Download and review the Law School Coach Free 1L Student Guide – Being Ready from Day One.
2. Spend time reviewing law student forum or blog discussions, and talking to other law students or lawyers about their experience. Get free advice when you can, but keep in mind that it was free (take everything with a grain of salt).
3. Call the law school and find out if 1L law students are provided a special place to study. Many law schools assign 1L study areas. If your school does not, you will need a plan for where to study. You can make this plan after you move to your law school housing.
4. Arrange for housing – spend some time at the beginning of the summer securing your housing for the fall. Talk to the school or other students about good possibilities for housing. Consider where you will study in your choice of living arrangements. If the school doesn’t provide you with a study area, you will probably be camping in the law library. Factor this into your location choice. If possible, schedule the move for 2-4 weeks prior to school.
5. Make sure you have the best laptop computer possible. A laptop is probably a requirement; if it isn’t, consider it one. Look carefully at the school’s minimum specifications. Before you consider getting a Mac, check with the school that it will be compatible with the exam software and other equipment.
6. Double check to make sure that you have fulfilled all the requirements for law school. The worst thing that could happen would be to miss a deposit deadline, or to not be able to start because you forgot to provide your transcript to the law school.
7. Get a copy of your class schedule, books, and reading assignment. This may not be available until a week or two before class begins, but check with the school.
8. Purchase all of your required textbooks and supplies. Buy them as soon as possible. Getting to the bookstore early gives you the opportunity to find great-condition used books. Be hesitant to buy a book with highlighting or notes throughout though, as you will want to do your own highlighting.
9. Attend the orientation. Law school orientations vary from school to school, but none are like a typical college orientation. You will get valuable information and your first introduction to classmates. Find out which section you are in as soon as possible and try to mingle with people from your section. It is always nice to meet people from other sections, but after orientation you probably won’t see them again for quite a while.
10. Prepare for you first day of class. Each class will have a first day reading assignment. Plan on completing it the day before, or morning of, class. Make sure to budget enough time, it will often take 3 or more hours per class to prepare. You will have a real class on the first day. It will not be like undergrad, where you get a copy of the syllabus, an intro statement about the class, and early dismissal.