1L, Law School

How I Prepared For 1L

It’s crazy to think that I’m entering week 4 of law school already! Many of you have messaged me about law school, so I thought I would share how I prepared for 1L! Are you interested in attending law school? Let me know in the comments!

So you watched Legally Blonde once and decided you want to go to law school, congratulations! A lot of pre-law students often ask what they should do to prepare for their first year of school. Some schools will offer a course, others might send you a 15-page recommended reading list. Well, I am here to tell you that you do not need to do anything to prepare for your first year of school other than relax. Everyone learns how to “do law school” together (cue We’re All In This Together from HSM). But, if you’re anything like me, you’ll ignore that advice and do everything but actively relax. Here is my full, unfiltered account of what I did to prepare for my first year of law school!

Gave myself at least one month between work and school starting.

I went straight to work after undergrad and barely took my vacation days. My paralegal position was demanding and time intensive. Add to that the stress of studying for the LSAT and preparing applications, and I was more than ready for a break. Some people will work their jobs up until orientation, and if that works for you then I am happy you got that extra $$! But, if you are able, I highly recommend taking at least a month off before school starts.

Signed up for the prep courses.

I know I just said you don’t need to do anything to really prepare for your first year of law school. There are tons of resources out there for 0L prep, but if you’re going to do anything at all sign up for the Kaplan 1L Experience. You have access to it for the whole year and it comes with outlines and study tips. I did not actually do anything with this course, but know it will come in handy when exams start happening.

If you feel inclined to do the full prep course, do your thing! I am so not here to judge and I know some people found them really helpful.

Read for pleasure.

My blog name is The Bookish Bronde, so you know I spent some time reading for fun before I started reading as a full time “job.” Check out my blog post on Books Every Pre-Law Student Should Read and my 2020 Book List. Reading may have been the only relaxing thing I did all summer, and I’m finding it to be a great reprieve from law school readings. I’m currently reading They Wish They Were Us and can’t wait to review it for you all!

Discussed law school with my roommates.

This is hilarious to me because my roommates are currently my family. At the start of the pandemic, I left my apartment in NYC to head home. Surprise, surprise, I never left! My university decided that they would not require students to attend classes in person. Saving money is a huge pro for me, so I decided to do my first semester of law school online from my parents’ home. (Where I don’t have to pay rent. Lucky me!)

As with every roommate situation, communication is key. Once I decided to stay home for the semester, I sat down with my family and explained what I needed. A separate space to study, quiet hours, and perhaps most importantly, the ability to say no. I don’t mean saying no to doing the dishes or helping prepare meals or folding the laundry. I mean saying no to sitting outside (socially distant) with family members who pop over and saying no to watching a movie when I really should finish reading for class. They were MORE than happy to accommodate.

When I was in college, I had similar conversations with my roommates. Same thing for post-grad when I needed to study for the LSAT. You can’t expect your roommates to know when you are trying to focus, so be open with them and have those conversations early! If you live alone, g bless and I hope you are doing okay during quarantine. You can always reach out to me if you want to talk!

Set up a separate work space to keep the bedroom zen.

See above re: moving back home. It was really important to me that my room (which doubled as my office for my last 4 months at work) was my place. Somewhere that I could decompress and read a book or catch up on the latest episode of The Bold Type with approximately 5 different candles burning. Whether you are in a studio apartment or a 3 bedroom home, try to find a spot where you can work comfortably that is not a part of your sleeping quarters.

For me, I created a nook in my basement filled with blankets, candles, motivational quotes, and a standing desk. I even brought down my Amazon Alexa so she could pump up the study jams whenever I need it. In my room, I’ve added some battery-operated sconces for late night reading (and also peak laziness because now I don’t have to get out of bed to turn the lights off) and a beautiful bookshelf that makes me smile every time I look at it! My room is also full of candles and cozy blankets, which makes it super tempting to go up there with a textbook, but I am trying hard NOT to bring schoolwork up there.

Joined a bunch of group chats and Zoomed with future classmates.

Because students at my school are not required to attend in person courses due to the pandemic, my whole entering class thought it was really important to start making relationships before school started. This was definitely intimidating at times, especially when the group chat blew up at 11 PM, but it was nice to know there were 260+ other people stressing about school alongside me. My incoming class is wonderful and outgoing. We had regular Zooms to meet one another, as well as separate group chats for students with similar interests. Shout out to the girls that convinced me it was okay to live at home and save money!

Had a long talk with my significant other.

Bare with me, but this was the most important thing I did to prepare for law school. My significant other also started law school (at a different university) this year. We have had many open chats about what we need from one another and how we can best support each other through this crazy journey! Communication really is key.

So that’s it!

I mean, I probably did a lot of other things to prepare for my first year of law school. But, considering we were quarantined at home for most of the summer… well, you know how it was.