Prepared to be bewildered:You need to ready yourself for the task ahead. The set of mental trials that you will undergo during law school will be completely different from college.
You will be learning how to read and understand cases, which is a new process that takes time. Even those who have done what they could to prepare beforehand will not be completely at ease. This is understandable, as this is just the start of the process.
For my first assignment in my contracts class, I read a 5-page assignment for three hours, felt completely prepared, and once class started I realized that I had not anticipated any of the professor’s questions or the approach to the case.
Focus on the present:Do not let yourself become overwhelmed and distracted by far-off deadlines. Do not even think about your exams. You need to remain motivated and concentrate your efforts on the readings for the week.
This is the time to learn how to properly absorb and critically think about cases. I recommend that people only begin thinking about exams around Halloween. You will have plenty of work to do in your first week without thinking about what will happen in December.
Wait on forming a study group: While this can be useful, there is no need to immediately form study groups. This will happen in the weeks to come when you know each other better.
Now is the time to set up your individual study process you will use throughout the semester. Remember to allot yourself plenty of extra time to read in the first week. You may need to go slowly and take several passes with the material in order to process the dense information of the text, especially when you want to make the required connections to larger elements of law theory.
Make friends:This is a new social situation, but do your best to extend yourself with your classmates. You will need your peers for both the morale-building support and class notes they offer.
It is best not to alienate them by adopting a boastful or swaggering presence, especially in the classroom. Everyone is keen to do well, but try to remain humble and approachable while giving your best effort.