Razorbackfan19247 wrote:Thanks for all of you quick responses. What advice would you give to new 1L's about adjusting to life at Pepperdine and about law school in general?
Adjusting to top-law-schools.com as a 1L - contrary to what people tell you, I personally think 1L year was the easiest academically speaking since the material seems more straightforward. Of course, that is coming from a 3L looking back
at 1L year, so that doesn't do you any good. Adjusting to life as a 1L has its ups and downs. On the scholastic side of things, you will quickly become stressed about midterms/finals/memos/legal writing in general. You will get stressed when you see your peers studying. You will get stressed when you see your peers with a different supplement book than you. You will get stressed if yo miss a day of class. Everything will seem to stress you out. This is perfectly natural, so embrace the suck. Legal writing is a drag, no matter how you cut it, so there's no much advice I can give you there. Regarding your other classes, just relax. Figure out what works for you. For me, it was reading all of the material and briefing it (I still do - even if I do a week or so late), for others its reading the E&E books. Remember that the semester is 14.5 weeks long. You're not going to fail because of things that are happening in the first 4-6 weeks (doesn't apply to legal writing...). So my advice, do the assigned readings, brief the cases, don't bother outlining until two weeks before a midterm, if there is no midterm, start outlining around week 5.5 or 6. Outlining is a long process, you may start at week 6, but it will take you to week 8 to actually get the outlines up to speed. If you're having trouble with the subject matter (i.e. Erie Doctrine), consult supplements. Overall, really try and enjoy your first year. You only get to do it once. And one final note on first years, it is like high school, do not get caught up in the drama.
Adjusting to 1L at Pepperdine specifically is different for the following reasons. There is excellent hiking, mountain biking, road biking, surfing, scuba diving, restaurants, beaches (note - not all good surfing beaches are good beaches to law around on), ferris wheels, jogging, etc, all within a short drive from Malibu. I personally enjoy a little surfing, or trail run, or mountain bike ride on the way home from Malibu to Santa Monica. There is plenty to occupy yourself with and get away from law school.
Pepperdine has midterms during your first year. Outline for them. Take them seriously (but not too seriously, I did terrible in midterms and did well). You will appreciate the hard work you put into them later. One final note on the midterms. They're riddled with facts. So many facts. So many more than will be on the final. The midterms, in my opinion, are not an accurate representation of how you're grades will look, they're simply to get your feet wet.