Five Habits of Highly Successful Law Students

Being a successful law student takes more than just knowing exam strategies or the best outlining techniques. It’s about striving to do your best and doing everything it takes to get to the top.

Free Downloadable PDF: The 1L Law School Supplies Checklist

Whether you’re starting law school right out of undergrad, or going back to school to change the course of your life — law school is filled with challenges. One of the first steps toward 1L success is understanding what those challenges are, and how to get ahead of them before your classmates.

Remember, law school is all about competition, and the race to the top of the class is steep.

Here are the five habits of highly successful law students, and how to start creating those habits now.

Understand The Importance of 1L Grades

We can’t stress this enough — your 1L grades are the most important grades you’ll earn in law school.

First-year grades impact your ability to earn academic honors and can even land you a spot on Law Review. In fact, your 2L summer employment opportunities are strongly tied to your 1L performance, landing you a better job at your dream firm.

Don’t start your 1L year without knowing how important your first-semester grades are to your eventual legal career.

Check out our article on the four ways 1L grades impact your future to learn more.

Take Care of Distractions, Now

Yes, 1L grades are important. And yes, your 1L year will be the most stressful — all while navigating the ups and downs of a new school, environment and learning curve.

That’s why it’s extremely important to take care of any distractions before you start law school. Distractions can mean everything from a pesky relationship that you’ve been trying to get out of, to breaking the news to your family that you might not be able to make it to Sunday dinner every week.

Starting this fall, law school is your top priority, and you have to treat it that way if you want to succeed. That means planning your life around law school instead of the other way around.

The summer before starting law school, hang out with your friends and family, binge that show you’ve been meaning to finish and catch up on some me-time while you can, so you can start 1L ready and focused for the challenges ahead.

Master the Art of Time Management

Time management is one of the most important keys to law school success.

Your 1L year will be filled with hours spent at the library, class attendance, networking with students and if you’re lucky, a few hours a week at the gym so you don’t totally lose your marbles.

Learning how to manage your time well is one of the first real challenges of law school. Law student life is a balancing act, and it’s easy to fall behind if you don’t take control of your time.

What’s the solution? Create a solid routine that is easy to follow and allows you time to breathe in between. Your weekly routine should include time for class attendance, outlining, exam review, going to the gym, seeing family and friends and me-time. Yes, you’ll have to pencil yourself into your own schedule.

Without a solid routine, it’s easy to burn out which will have a negative effect on your performance. So, set a strict routine and follow it diligently if you want to succeed in your 1L year.

Understand Teaching & Testing Methods

Law school exams and teaching methods are nothing like those that you experienced in undergrad.

In fact, you might be surprised to find out that the techniques you used in undergrad no longer work for you in law school.

Law school exams differ by professor, course, and school. But one thing is true about all of them — you can no longer get by with cramming the night before. These exams are serious, and most of the time they make up the majority of your final grade.

Before starting law school, make sure to do your research on proper law school study techniques and get to know the law school grading curve. (Or take Law Preview and learn it all in six days).

Take Law Preview Before Your 1L Year

Law Preview students are more than your average incoming law student. Law Preview students are overachievers, they’re the ones who don’t just want to go to law school, they want to #conquerlawschool.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out our stellar alumni testimonials to see how Law Preview helps 1L students succeed in law school and beyond.

With Law Preview, you’ll learn the ins and outs of law school from the country’s top law school professors all in six days or less.

Here are a few things our courses cover:

  • An overview of core 1L material
  • Proven exam-taking strategies
  • Outlining and note-taking techniques
  • The Socratic Method and Case Method
  • Legal research and writing 101
  • And more

Don’t risk falling behind in the most important year of law school. Sign up for a Law Preview 1L Prep Course today.

Related Posts:

Law Student Personality Quiz

See how you'll compare to your 1L classmates.