I think that Nicole and Dania have done a great job telling you about themselves and why they chose Carolina Law. When I was in your shoes, I felt so unprepared. I had never actually met a law student, I had no one to talk to, and I didn't know what to expect. How many hours would actually spend in class a day or studying at night? Would I be behind because, as a science major, I had never really taken an essay exam or a history or policy course? Do students get free tickets to basketball games? Here's some things I wish I had known:
DO be prepared to receive a TON of information in the mail from outside sources that will solicit you to take "pre-law school" classes. I would recommend saving your time and money. At Carolina Law, we will make sure that you are well prepared for your first year of law school. Programs like LEAP will help you figure out what to expect from law school. Admitted Students Day will be hosted by a bunch of 1L, 2L, and 3L students that will answer ALL your questions candidly--- if you're freaking out, we'll recommend some books to help you understand what the heck an "outline" or a "case brief" is. No other outside preparation is necessary.
DON'T start buying casebooks, hornbooks, supplements, treatises, restatements, study guides, etc. etc. etc. There is literally nothing that you can do, or nothing that you can learn in those books, that will prepare you for your law school experience. For example, let's say you want to get a jump on constitutional law. You get a book, and you read it from front to back. You learn about the dormant commerce clause, the first amendment, the incorporation doctrine. Chances are you're simply going to confuse yourself, scare yourself, and get frustrated. Also, your professor may only cover judicial review, equal protection, and separation of powers. All that extra material is just likely to overwhelm your brain.
DO take some time off. If you are working, take a couple of weeks off before school starts. If you're dying to read something, read books that remind you of WHY you want to be a lawyer. Lay by the pool and spend some time with your family and friends, because they will probably be missing you while you are focusing on adjusting to school. Avoid the books about law school "hazing" (ex, One L and Paper Chase. It's not really like that.)
DO plan on having a really, really busy fall. Avoid planning a long vacation during fall break. Avoid planning any events that would make you miss a significant amount of time during school. Don't plan on holding a part time job. (Although the ABA allows you to work a part time job for a limited amount of hours, it's probably going to stress you out to have other major time commitments.)
DON'T freak out and start to wonder why the heck you thought you could go to law school in the first place. Honestly, if I can do this, so can you.
DO take it one day at a time. Remember that what's important at exam time isn't really important now. For example, you can't apply for summer jobs as a 1L until December 1st. So don't spend this time polishing your resume. Focus on getting your finances in order, finding a place to live, and paying your deposits on time.
If you have any specific questions, please give me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. It wasn't too long ago that I was in your shoes, and I'm would be so happy to help you. I'll try to give you candid responses about law school at Carolina.
Oh, and GO HEELS!!!!!
Posted by Erin Edwards on Tue. March 22, 2011 9:22 AM
Admitted Students Day, Orientation