A-Z of Surviving and Thriving Your Way Through Law School

Forget about the law dictionary or the encyclopedia of forms and precedents, this is the only dictionary you need to survive and thrive in law school - and it covers all your bases from A-Z.

source // giphy

A – Attendance. Yes, we all feel the temptation to skip lectures, but actually attending your lectures and being *present* (mentally as well) will hold you in good stead. Close Facebook and just sit and listen.

B – Balance. You know that Venn diagram where the three circles of work, life and study interact? As hard as it is, try and let the three overlap (and be generous about it).

C – Competitions. Law student societies run mooting, negotiations, client-interviewing and witness examination competitions - these help develop your legal research and other crucial legal skills.

D – Disruption. Check out Wenee’s interviews with LegalVision Head of Growth and Innovation, Tom Kaldor and CEO of McCarthyFinch, Nick Whitehouse. Or read any of our Innovation Popcorn articles with The Legal Forecast.

E – Exchange. If you have the opportunity to go on exchange - take it. If you don’t want to do a semester-long exchange, some universities offer short-term exchange programs where you can undertake a subject on an intensive basis overseas.

F – Find a way to make a subject enjoyable. You won’t enjoy every subject you take - sometimes you might even hate it. But finding a way to make a subject enjoyable will make it that much more bearable, and hey, you might even do well.

G – Gossiping. Whether it’s gossiping about the latest episode of Real Housewives or who’s clerking where (don’t pretend you don’t do that), gossiping ensures you’re keeping in touch with friends. Who doesn’t love a good gossip sesh as a study break?

H – Hugs, not drugs.

I – Ice cream. For those breakups with your study group, when you get a bad mark or when you think you’ve flunked the exam, ice cream is always the answer.

J – Judge Judy. Has anyone ever seen what Judge Judy looks like behind the bench? Oh wait.

K – Kirby J. The famous dissenter and a national icon. He is worshipped in law schools.

L – Law library. A rite of passage and also the ‘spot’ to be seen, the law library, or otherwise affectionately known as the ‘lawbry’, is the answer when you really need to focus on those assignments.

M – Mentoring. Law societies often have established mentoring programs in place that can match you with a solicitor or barrister in a practice area you’re interested in. Otherwise, if you know someone in the legal profession, reach out to establish an informal mentoring relationship.

N – New stationery.

O – O. The shape your mouth makes when you open the exam booklet. Give yourself 10 seconds to freak out, then think clearly.

P – Preparation. Preparing in advance of lectures and tutorials either by doing the readings or knowing what topic is being taught this week...but when all else fails.

Q – Quick reference cards. Check them out at LexisNexis. Read our review of the Civil Procedure Quick Ref Card; and see, for example, LexisNexis’ Contracts Quick Ref Card. Also, don’t miss out on LexisNexis’ End of Financial Year sale which goes until 5th July.

R – Research skills.

S – Subcommittees. Get involved in your student law society’s subcommittees - whether it’s editing a publication, organising competitions and other social events.

T – Talks or panel discussions. Outside of the panel discussions your student law society or law school might have, look towards other young lawyers’ societies or associations in an area of law that you’re interested in - they often welcome students at their events!

U – Understanding your peers by observing them in tutorials. Here is where you’ll learn to develop your people skills and even how to read people.

V – Volunteering. Whether it be volunteering for a community legal centre, juvenile justice centres, not for profits and other charities. Here are 6 reasons why you should volunteer besides attacking an empty CV.

W – Work. Werk, werk, werk. Working in a legal environment will expose you to the practicalities of applying the law outside the borders of your problem question assignment.

X – (E)xam scaffolds. Preparing scaffolds for exams will ensure you efficiently answer problem questions, rather than flipping back and forth through your notes.

Y – Your friends. Let’s be real - the thing that gets you through law school isn’t coffee - it’s your friends. Things are always made easier when you have someone to suffer through with.

Z – Zzzz. It may slip away during assessment period, but getting enough of these will ensure you at least survive law school.

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