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Starting Law School? Tips for your First Semester of Law

Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione

I’m now in my second last year of my law degree and looking back on my course, there are a few things that I wish I had done differently. If you’re just starting your first semester of law school, here is some advice that I wish I’d received in first year…

Do the readings before class and participate in class discussions

Being an inherently lazy person, I always find myself sitting in awkward silence in tutorials because I have no idea what the tutor is talking about. Not only is this awkward, but it also makes SWOTVAC a nightmare.

Also, participating in class will make asking your tutor to be a reference on your CV much less intimidating. There’s nothing worse than asking for a reference only to have the tutor ask who you are!

Make friends

I had to move five hours away from my hometown to study law and knew only three people in the course. Being an introverted sort, I shied away from my fellow law students, who all seemed to come from the same high school and already knew each other. I have made some good friends along the way but wish I had been more social during my degree. Having friends is good, it makes classes more interesting, provides alternate views on a topic or assignment, and makes those dreaded group assignments much less awkward.

Get involved in extra-curricular activities

To this day I have not participated in any extra-curricular activities. Other than law ball, but I don’t think intoxicated dancing really counts as an extra-curricular activity for future employment.

I still cannot think of anything worse than mooting but admit it would be a good thing to have on my CV. If you’re as horrified by mooting as I am, be on the lookout for law school essay competitions, student magazines and client interviewing comps.

Work Hard

Even if you think you do not want to be a lawyer, put the effort in. I spent my first few years determined not to be a lawyer and therefore neglecting my legal studies. I have now changed my mind and decided to pursue a legal career, and regret that I hadn’t put more effort into the first few years of my degree.

Good marks are important, but you shouldn’t spend all of your time at home studying. Go on the pub crawl, go to law ball, and don’t forget to enjoy your law degree!

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