zhenders wrote:I don't know if these questions have been put to you all this year (I don't believe so):
1. Knowing what you know now, if you could go back in time and give your 0L-summer self some advice about what to do differently from how you actually did things 0L-summer/1L, what would that advice be?
2. Were there any non-recreational things you feel you spent too much time on 1L? Too little?
Thanks in advance and for everything else so far.
1. Treat the summer as you'd treat any summer. If you want to work and save up money, do that. If you want to travel, do that. If you want to sit around and do nothing, do that. There really isn't anything that you can do to substantively prepare for law school. Some people suggest reading Getting to Maybe. I skimmed it, but it wasn't super helpful as the strategies in it aren't fully applicable to the style of 1st quarter exams. Still might be worth the $15 and 4 hours though.
I would recommend making any practical preparations that might otherwise arise after you move/during the year. Make sure that you have a good working laptop that isn't going to quit on you during finals, get new glasses/contacts if you need them, figure out if you want to bring a car.
It's hard to give advice for 1L because every person does it a little bit differently. I think I know what I would tell myself to do, but I am almost certain that this advice would be useless for other people. I'm also pretty sure that I would have ignored my own advice, because it probably wouldn't have made sense to me when I was just starting school.
Really, the best preparation for law school is just doing law school. The tips, tricks, and other advice you'll hear isn't what made people successful; it was the time that they put into learning what worked for them that made them successful. It really is a trial and error game, so I think the best thing to do is to study/work/prepare in the way that you feel that you need to. If that consists of buying every single supplement, do that. If it means studying in a group, with one other person, or by yourself, do that. However, once you get a sense that whatever you're doing isn't working out, don't be afraid to stop doing it and try something else. If it is working, feel free to adjust your strategy to cut out inefficient practices. Don't worry about what other people are doing either; they're in the same process of figuring out what works for them.
Sorry that this sounds like non-advice, but I really don't believe that there is a single right way to do law school. Don't be afraid to try different strategies or ignore advice that isn't working for you.
2. I didn't really regret anything that I spent time on. Try to do most of the school-sponsored events during orientation/at the beginning of the year. It's a good way to meet people outside of your section with similar interests. Also, try to find a student group or two. Again, it all comes down to what works for you. Some people find outside activities distracting. Others find them necessary to give themselves a break from work. Don't be afraid to try both approaches.