What Students Entering Law School this August Should Do Over the Summer to Prepare
If you are starting law school this August, this will be a new and exciting time in your life. You have worked hard all through high school and college. You performed well on the LSAT. Now it is time to prepare for one of the most challenging educational opportunities of a lifetime.
While school does not start for a few months, that does not mean there aren’t things you can do now to prepare for August. Law school is already incredibly competitive. Why not get a jump on the competition by taking a few hours out during the summer to prepare? There are certain things you can do now to make your transition into law school rather seamless. There is no way for anyone to enter law school 100 percent prepared. You will always be hit with a few curveballs. However, if you take time now to prepare for your first year of law school, you will be ahead of the game.
People who are already practicing law know what it is like to complete the sometimes-grueling process of law school. They have taken the tests and written the outlines. They have spent sleepless nights huddled together with their study groups preparing for midterms and finals. They can offer a few tips of the trade when it comes to preparing for law school. Here, our Birmingham law firm will share a few of these tricks so you can get a head start on one of the most exciting adventures of your life.
Become Familiar with Your First Year Courses
Most first-year law students take the same types of courses. While the courses may be offered in a different order, for the most part, you should be prepared to take some of all of the following classes:
This course teaches you the basics of the U.S. Constitution and how it has been applied to different cases over the years. Expect to read about freedom of speech and equal protection. You will learn the history of how individual rights have been protected over the years.
This course is pretty self-explanatory. Your professor will go over the criminal code and explain how the law has evolved over the years. You will learn what the elements of the major crimes are and how to apply them to certain fact patterns.
In order to understand the law, you need to know how the courts work. This class will teach you about things like jurisdiction and how pleadings are filed. This is the backbone of most areas of the law.
This is the class where you will learn about personal injury law. It teaches you the different types of tortious actions and how to prove them.
All law students have to take some type of course on contracts. This class can be quite challenging and will require a lot of reading.
While you will not want to attempt to do substantive reading on these topics, it is a good idea to research commercial outlines now. This way, you can skim them and have an idea of what concepts you are going to have to learn in a few months.
Read Up on Your Professors
You should know who the first-year law professors are at your school. Talk to other students who have had them before. Read reviews online so you can get an idea of what to expect from your professors. You can even get an idea of how your professors grade their students. If you know what you need to do to achieve an A, you will have a better idea of how to achieve success.
You can even reach out to some of your professors and talk to them. Let them know you will be attending school in the fall and see if they have any pointers for you. At the end of the day, law school professors are just people like you and me. Getting to know their personalities can go a long way toward understanding their teaching philosophy.
Read a Few Back Issues of Your School’s Law Review
Even if your law school doesn’t allow you to go out for law review until your second year, it can’t hurt to read a few back issues of your school’s law review. You can get an idea of what sorts of articles are accepted. You can also identify some of the key writers for your school’s law review and reach out to them. They can give you an interesting insight into what it is like to attend the law school of your choice.