How important is extracurriculars during 1L?

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sethc
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How important is extracurriculars during 1L?

Postby sethc » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:23 pm

Hey all, 1L in a lower-tier law school and just started my second term. My question is about Moot Court/Mock Trial, law review, and things of that nature.

During my first term, I decided to not even consider taking part in any of these because I wanted to dedicate 100% of my energy, time, and focus on getting the best possible grade I could, obviously, but also making sure I was giving my best towards understanding the material and how law school works.

I haven't got my grades back yet and, just to be clear, I do realize grades will be a crucial factor in making the personal decision to take part in this stuff or not. But, I was just curious of the importance of participating in this stuff during 1L. I know it's important in the sense that it can't hurt to have it on your resume.. but assuming it wasn't - how concerned should I be? Additionally, what about not participating in them at all during law school if my grades were consistently awesome/great? I guess what I'm asking is exactly how much weight it carries on employers & job prospects.

Thanks in advance.

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traehekat
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Re: How important is extracurriculars during 1L?

Postby traehekat » Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:16 pm

Depends what you are talking about. If you can, you should absolutely do law review. My instinct regarding other stuff like moot court is that they become less "necessary" the better your grades are. But I mean, grades aside, if you want to do it and think you can manage the time, go for it.

Geist13
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Re: How important is extracurriculars during 1L?

Postby Geist13 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:44 pm

unless your school is out of the ordinary, those two activities are not accessible to you as a 1L. You don't just sign up for law review.

missinglink
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Re: How important is extracurriculars during 1L?

Postby missinglink » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:56 pm

Geist13 wrote:unless your school is out of the ordinary, those two activities are not accessible to you as a 1L. You don't just sign up for law review.

You could just start hanging out around the law review office until people assume you must be a member.

sethc
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Re: How important is extracurriculars during 1L?

Postby sethc » Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:20 pm

Good point about law review, I didn't really think of that. I'm not sure, but I think where I'm at it's possible for a student to do law review after their first semester, but I'm not sure about that. However, mock trial/moot court are accessible for 1L's.. it's just kind of "limited" in what you do for it (hope that makes sense).

Hmm, maybe if I phrase my question in another way it'll help clarify what my concerns are.

Basically, right now I'm just keeping my head down to the grind by going to class & coming home. I'm giving 100% of my focus to the classwork, understanding it, and preparing for exams. Any "free time" I have is spent as more mental down-time than anything.. just resting and recharging my mind for the next week, next class, next reading assignment etc. Once again, of course this strategy is highly contingent on grades whenever they're posted, but let's say my grades turn out stellar, pretty damn good, or pretty good -- should I change my approach to law school in terms of activities/organizations outside of what I do for my classes?

Omerta
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Re: How important is extracurriculars during 1L?

Postby Omerta » Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:20 pm

Moot Court, Mock Trial, and Law Review are things that you are selected to participate in that you can't do until your second year; so you probably shouldn't worry about them right now... The value of those activities with respect to employment has been recursively discussed.

I think that a certain amount of extracurriculars is a good idea. I tutored at a local school, joined a networking group, and did some other stuff that is specific enough to give me away.

Personally, doing something else besides schoolwork is important. It gives you something to talk about during interviews (especially if you're like me and went straight through) and makes you seem like a more empathetic human being. Doing a little community service takes up an inconsequential amount of time and is really great for any PI/government work. Most firms appreciate it too.

I find it hard to believe that every waking moment of your last semester was dedicated to doing real and important work or spent mentally recharging. Even if you did (which you didn't) you should be more efficient this term, so devote some of that newly found time to something meaningful. I think that you need to do stuff regardless of how your grades turn out. You're assuming that your grades will be good at worst; what happens if you fuck up? Then you better be able to point to something that you did at school besides study poorly for the last semester.

17ShortFuse
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Re: How important is extracurriculars during 1L?

Postby 17ShortFuse » Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:58 pm

I guess it depends on the school because I'm a 1L at Wisconsin and I'm on the Mock Trial team. Also, one of the journals allows 1Ls to cite check for the journal during 1L year and you get your name in the journal.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: How important is extracurriculars during 1L?

Postby BarbellDreams » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:05 pm

missinglink wrote:
Geist13 wrote:unless your school is out of the ordinary, those two activities are not accessible to you as a 1L. You don't just sign up for law review.

You could just start hanging out around the law review office until people assume you must be a member.


Shhhh, I thought I was the only one with that plan.

sethc
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Re: How important is extracurriculars during 1L?

Postby sethc » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:56 am

Omerta wrote:Moot Court, Mock Trial, and Law Review are things that you are selected to participate in that you can't do until your second year; so you probably shouldn't worry about them right now... The value of those activities with respect to employment has been recursively discussed.

I think that a certain amount of extracurriculars is a good idea. I tutored at a local school, joined a networking group, and did some other stuff that is specific enough to give me away.

Personally, doing something else besides schoolwork is important. It gives you something to talk about during interviews (especially if you're like me and went straight through) and makes you seem like a more empathetic human being. Doing a little community service takes up an inconsequential amount of time and is really great for any PI/government work. Most firms appreciate it too.

I find it hard to believe that every waking moment of your last semester was dedicated to doing real and important work or spent mentally recharging. Even if you did (which you didn't) you should be more efficient this term, so devote some of that newly found time to something meaningful. I think that you need to do stuff regardless of how your grades turn out. You're assuming that your grades will be good at worst; what happens if you fuck up? Then you better be able to point to something that you did at school besides study poorly for the last semester.


Thanks for the post - that's pretty good advice and I appreciate it. However, to clarify, I was being completely honest about how I spent my time during 1st semester. I am in a serious/committed relationship with someone that lives with me.. so any time spent not doing class-related stuff was usually spent with this person. Sorry for not putting that in my initial post, I should have clarified. Balancing my relationship & school is something I am taking very seriously. Not that I am putting the importance of being law school anything less than top priority or anything like that, but I owe it to my girlfriend to take the relationship seriously - after all she did just uproot & move about 750 miles away for nothing else other than to be with me. Thus, my 1st semester time was: (1)go to class, (2)come home, and (3)read/prepare for the next day's class after wrapping up that day's lecture/material ; (4)rinse/repeat for each day and devote weekends to my girlfriend and to resting - all until time to study for finals came around, anyway.

Also - you're right I'm assuming my grades are/will be "good, at worst"---for the time being. Obviously if they suck I need to approach law school differently, but I'm going to leave figuring that out only if/when I have to (hopefully). As such, the reason for my post was just to get a grasp on how extracurriculars possibly enhance learning the material & how they are viewed in terms of how they're looked at when I am (eventually) looking for a job.




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