The new year is here and the countdown to your first 1L semester officially starts now.
With any new year comes New Year’s resolutions, and that’s especially true when you’re about to embark on an education experience that is as challenging as it is rewarding.
Law school is competitive from day one, which makes being prepared for 1L incredibly important. Adopt these five New Year’s resolutions into your pre-law plan and gain a cutting edge against your peers before your first day of law school.
1. Get organized and work on time management
Most of your classmates in law school will be overachievers who are extremely organized and have excellent time-management skills.
If you want to keep up with them (or better yet, get to the top of the class), you’ll want to master the skill of staying organized and planning your time wisely. Invest in a good planner and plan out your week ahead of time.
With a lot of classes taking place online right now, it’s especially important to make sure you’re not falling into the habit of procrastinating any on-demand lectures.
Planning out your week and sticking to a schedule will prevent falling behind in lectures and studying. Even if your classes are all online, treat them like a live course and try to attend them on time.
2. Seek out a law school mentor
Finding a law school mentor before starting your 1L year is a great way to both expand your professional network and learn the tools to law school success from somebody who has already been there.
A law school mentor can warn you about the mistakes they made in law school, and best practices that they picked up along the way. As you navigate law school, your mentor will continue to be a resource when it comes to searching for a job or deciding what type of law you’d like to practice.
How to find a law school mentor
A mentor might be a family member or a friend who has already gone through the rigors of law school. Some law schools even offer mentorship programs where they match you with second- and third-year law students.
If you’re struggling to find a mentor, schedule a 1L Strategy Session with Law Preview President, Don Macaulay. This free 30-minute session allows you to ask your top questions about everything from law school applications to 1L best practices.
Don Macaulay can also help connect you with current and prior law students that may be able to mentor you in the future.
3. Organize your finances and save money wherever you can
There’s no avoiding the fact that law school can place a heavy burden on you financially. That’s why it’s important to keep your finances in mind from the day that you submit your first application.
We recommend focusing on scholarship applications and budgeting before starting law school to help set you up for financial success.
Start applying for scholarships as soon as possible
As soon as you start applying for law school, it’s time to begin researching available scholarships for incoming law students. Scholarships can help you pay for everything from tuition to case books and more.
We recommend applying for as many scholarships as you can, as they can be very competitive.
Check out a few of our scholarship resources below:
- Understand law school scholarships
- Read our top law school scholarship tips
- Download the free scholarship organizer
Ready to start applying for scholarships? Check out the Law Preview $10k Scholarship today.
Create a rock-solid law school budget
Creating a pre-planned budget for law school ensures that you graduate with as little debt as possible. Making this one of your New Year’s resolutions is an excellent way to eliminate a potential stressor in your life during law school.
Other money saving tips
You can commit to saving money while in law school by making your meals at home, buying used textbooks, and taking advantage of free study aids. Visit the student center at your school to learn more about resources that may help you save a few bucks throughout your law school journey.
4. Commit to self-care
Practicing self-care while in law school will help prevent burnout and can even have a positive effect on your 1L grades.
Your first-year grades are extremely important, but what’s even more important are your first semester grades. Your first semester grades will put you at the top of the list for competitive academic honors, the most coveted internship opportunities, and your ability to transfer to a higher-ranking school (if that’s your goal).
If you burn out during this crucial semester, it will have serious implications on your future legal career. By practicing self-care and creating a healthy routine, you can avoid the dreaded 1L burn out and set yourself up for optimal performance.
A great way to make sure you’re practicing self-care is to take time to do things that make you happy. Schedule some time throughout your week to do something that brings you joy, whether it’s getting outside, practicing a hobby, meditating, or Facetiming a loved one.
You’ll feel more refreshed and less burnt out if by doing so.
5. Take a law school prep course
Taking a law school prep course is a sure-fire way to ensure that you are prepared for the unique challenges that come with law school.
BARBRI Law Preview law school prep courses are built to provide students with a blueprint for 1L success by teaching core 1L material, proven exam-taking strategies, academic success skills and more.
By taking Law Preview, you’ll learn how to brief cases and handle cold calls — transforming you into a seasoned law student before stepping foot on campus.
Learn how to conquer law school, sign up for a Law Preview prep course today.