Monday, August 21, 2006

Time to Get Real; First Day of Law School

Hey, 1-Ls and those who love them:

Want some advice on starting at law school? Here are some helpful websites (see the Read More for links)

And there are many, many books out there you can buy that purport to help you succeed in law school. The best advice, though, is to

* Attend your classes
* Prepare for class (rule of thumb, put in at least an hour prep for every hour in class)
* Do your own outlining – it's the process, not the product that helps you prepare for exams
* Don't panic! The first weeks or months as a 1-L student, you are learning a new language as well as a whole new way of reasoning and learning. Hang in there,and you will get it. Law School admissions work pretty well to select folks who can succeed.
A very cool online self-study course by Profs Eileen Kavanagh and Mara Kent at Thomas Cooley Law School about success in law school. Lesson 2.2 is the one really focused on Success in Law School, but the other lessons are worthwhile as well. If you click on the "Introduction," you'll see a very nice little animation with music "Justice Unveiled." Very practical advice from a law student at Ohio State in his blog.
A very interesting blog from CALI (Computer Assisted Legal Instruction, a consortium of law schools. Some of the entries are by law students, but I really direct your attention to their links to blog advice from various law profs, on Aug. 16. Advice, books and websites from Northern Kentucky University. I really like the web links – good choices.
A collection of essays by a variety of different people, so the quality varies. My recommendation is Prof. Barbara Glesner Fine (UMKC), "Materials for Success." Two of the more helpful ones are from Carol Nygren's book Starting Off Right in Torts (1998): "Studying for Torts" and "Basic Information Needed for Law School Survival.".
Findlaw's list of law school prep courses. I suspect that these companies will gladly take your money and give you a reasonable product in return. But keep in mind that YOUR law professor doesn't care what the Bar-Bri or Kaplan prof says about the subject. They want to hear what you learned from THEM!

This cool t-shirt is from, a very cool website and well worth visiting for the cartoons.


admin said...

Reminds me of my first day of Catholic school.

Betsy McKenzie said...

Your Holiness! You honor our blog by browsing here. Pax vobiscum.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great advice. I think that through tis blog site I can get a lot of advice like that one you just made. Law school is a great challenge, passing it and making the bar is an even greater one. Thanks.

Betsy McKenzie said...

Dear Carlo.31,
I am so glad you find the advice useful. Use the links I mention for other helpful blogs and websites that are often more totally focused on the student experience. We are law school librarians and lots of what we talk about is library or political issues. That said, I think everybody on the blog also has a law degree, so we've been there, too. Best wishes as you start law!