If you’re entering law school, the sooner you prepare for it, the better. The decisions that you may during your four years in undergraduate school can prepare you for law school. It’s also important to consider which courses, internships, and networking opportunities you’ll take on during this time including small things like register for the LSAT. Here are five ways you can prepare for the road to law school.
Understand Core 1L Subjects
Before you get into law school, you should learn and understand the required 1L material. It may be weird to learn the concepts that are covered during the first semester, but most prospective students opt to take a course that helps them prepare for the core 1L subjects.
The more you understand the material, the better you’ll do during your first semester. Grades are typically based on a forced curve. This means your performance will be compared to your peers.
Write a Thesis
Not only do law admission officers want to see if you understand the core 1L subjects, but they also want to know if you’ve conducted work based on your own research. This can make you better-suited for the long journey that lies ahead in law school. Your exams will typically take between three to eight hours since you’ll have access to course materials and notes.
You may even have to construct arguments like writing a thesis. Practice forming your own arguments by writing a thesis and working on a research project.
Build Relationships With Professors
It’s important to establish relationships with your professors. You’re more likely to ask them for recommendations from the moment that you’re ready to enter law school. Building a relationship with them will allow you to get more out of your courses if you engage with them outside of school.
Don’t be the one who sits in the back of the class and hides from the professor. Make your voice heard. Discuss your progress with them throughout the semester so it won’t feel strange when you ask them for extra help.
Focus on Your Reading Skills
Not only should you strengthen your writing skills, but you should also work on improving your reading skills. You’re required to read a lot in law school. You may have to read hundreds of pages per week. While some students do away with the assigned reading, this isn’t a risk you should take. It’s important to learn and understand the concepts since you’re tested on them.
To get through this difficult process, take a speed-reading course. Most of the coursework involves absorbing the information quickly and efficiently. But it’s not required of you to read the material as fast as possible.
Get Advice from Current & Former Students
Both current students and recent graduates know about the experience better than anyone else. This advice will be more valuable than from former students who graduated 20 years or more ago since law school has changed a lot during the years. If you established any contacts or made any friends, then reach out to them. Thank them for their help and ask them if they have any additional advice.
You should also interview recent graduates that are in various roles. Speak with corporate lawyers, criminal justice lawyers, in-house counsel, prosecutors, public defenders, and JDS. Talk to JDS that have worked with banks, consulting companies, researching companies, and startups. This allows you to determine how much their day jobs different from their anticipated career trajectory.