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Pace yourselves, keen beans!

Hermione Granger

It’s just so exciting, isn’t it? You’re a real law student! You’ve been waking up at 5am for 11am classes, dressing in your nicest rags, and sitting outside the lecture theatre for an hour before classes kick off (first impressions count right?). It’s great that you’re so excited, but take it from us law school veterans, you need to slow down.

Chill out

Ok guys, chill. If you miss one reading or highlight in the wrong highlighter – yellow for facts, green for the ratio and blue for everything else – your grades will not slip into an irreversible oblivion. If you skip the supplementary readings your law school will not kick you out and brand you a failure. If you’re studying until 4am most nights in the first month of law school, things aren’t going to get any easier once assessments begin piling up.

Having a melt down because the lecture recording has a 30 second gap is just crazy. Take a deep breath, release the death grip on your Montblanc highlighter (Faber Castel is for chumps) and think of puppies or Kirby or whatever works for you.

Try and get into a system where you get all the required work done for your subjects, and if you have time go the extra mile. Try to relax and enjoy the law school experience or you will burn out.

Be comfortable

Yes, you are now in the law world where suits are always the new black. The legal profession can be very formal, but avoid the temptation to rock the law school in four-inch heels and/or the latest Armani suit in your first few weeks.

I am going to let you in on a secret: it’s just not sustainable. In the years ahead you will spend many nights hunched over a laptop in a cosy corner of the law library, so dress for comfort. There’s no need to impress anyone in the library so save the sweet get-up for when it counts.

You don’t know everything (yet)

When you have read all the prescribed cases, texts and articles, there’s a temptation to show the tutor you know EVERYTHING. It’s not such a bright move. Be active, take part in the discussions, support your peers but don’t dominate or become arrogant. Law school can be lonely, and this behaviour increases your chances of being a law loner.

Be friendly. Really, most of us a keen for any distraction from whatever legal mind bender we are attempting, (unless we are sitting in a quiet corner of the library trying to avoid all human contact).

If you are lost, need a hand or have a question, just ask someone! We’ve all been there and are willing to help where we can!

Many of us veteran law students were once that guy with all the answers, or the girl in the business wear. Looking back on first year, we know how important it is to maintain that enthusiasm for as long as possible. Our best advice? Law school is a marathon, not a sprint so pace yourself (and enjoy it).

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