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Surviving the First Year of School amidst Challenges

ABSTRACT

Beginning the first year of law school is an exciting but difficult journey that requires a certain set of abilities and resilience. In this Blog, we explore the key tactics for acing this crucial stage of legal education and thriving rather than just getting by. We offer priceless advice to assist students in navigating the demanding curriculum and difficulties they will experience, from time management strategies and productive study habits to asking for help from peers and mentors. We emphasise the value of a growth attitude and urge aspiring law students to accept setbacks as teaching experiences, ultimately fostering personal and professional development on the road to a rewarding legal career.


KEYWORD: Law school, First year, Challenges, Surviving, Time management, Techniques


INTRODUCTION

Law school is incredibly difficult and demanding in terms of academics. The majority of students believe their first year of law school to be the most challenging. They need to master the content quickly because it is more complicated than what they are used to. In addition, college instruction and testing are conducted substantially differently from those in high school or undergrad.

There are some things you can anticipate from your first year of law school, both inside and beyond the classroom, even if every law school is unique.

Let's take a quick look at the exciting and intimidating world of law school. Your academic path will be full of intellectual challenges, opportunities for personal development, and a distinctive range of experiences. However, the first year of law school, also known as 1L, is the most important. The teaching strategies and curriculum have been established. Most lessons consist of imposing lectures. Final examinations are often scored blindly by professors using a predetermined curve and percentage quotas for each grade. Additionally, 1L grades play a significant role in deciding eligibility for transfer applications, summer jobs, future employment opportunities, and admission to law reviews.

Various trials are probably in your future as a first-year law student, so do not be alarmed! We'll give you insightful information, practical advice, and effective techniques in this blog so you can succeed in law school during your first year in addition to surviving.[1]


RECOGNISE THE ENVIRONMENT OF THE LAW SCHOOL

The legal profession is very distinct from undergraduate study. The workload is heavier, the standards are higher, and the teaching styles could change. Recognising and adjusting to this new academic environment is essential. Participate in orientation events, get to know your teachers, and get to know your classmates. Creating a support system early on will be crucial for the duration of your legal studies. [2]

It can be difficult to comprehend how law school operates. If I must speak from personal experience, I can say that it was difficult for me to adjust to a new environment where academic standards are quite high and individuals are fiercely competitive.

There was never a day when I didn't feel like I wasn't talented enough and was inferior to a group of extremely intelligent people, but I refused to let that get the better of me. Instead, I continued working hard to show others and myself that I wasn't inferior and was just as talented as them.


MASTER TIME MANAGEMENT

Time management is a crucial skill for success in law school, thus you should be able to do it. Law students do not have enough time to study for exams because they are constantly involved in other activities like mooting, debate, ADRs, etc. Vivas and projects also take up a significant amount of your time, making it challenging to manage time for exam preparation.

Therefore, it is crucial that we maintain a regular study schedule and devote at least one hour per day to our studies. Attendance is also crucial, and you run the risk of being disqualified and not being promoted to the following year if you don't meet the attendance requirements.

READ ACTIVELY, NOT PASSIVELY

Readings for law school can be challenging and intimidating. Read actively by underlining important information, making notes, and providing your own summaries of the text to increase understanding.[3] Actively participating in the material will aid with memory retention and discussion preparation.

When given readings, students should not simply skim the pages but rather go deep into the material to comprehend its many facets, including its philosophical, psychological, and legal implications.

If you are given cases to read, be sure to comprehend both the plaintiff's and the defendant's points of view as well as the case's ultimate ruling. It is crucial to pay attention to teachers when they discuss cases in class in order to fully comprehend them, and taking accurate notes is also crucial.


ASK FOR ADVICE FROM SENIORS AND ALUMNI

Seniors also play a crucial role in law school; they mentor you and aid in your understanding of the difficulties you will encounter. The notes they offer are crucial for comprehending the material and assisting you in learning how to approach a subject.

Additionally, they educate you on the things that demand more time and effort so that you devote more of your attention to them.

They also assist in advising us on the internships we ought to accept in order to gain practical experience related to a legal career.


Take good care of your mental and physical health

You might have rolled your eyes as you read this heading. But I can assure you that neglecting one's own needs is one of the first things people do when under stress or pressure. They stop sleeping, eat the correct things, and occasionally they quit exercising. As the first semester of law school unfolds, bear this in mind. You'll observe that folks commonly get sick or gain or lose weight.[4]

One of our first-year law school tips is to make sure you are getting enough sleep in order to avoid these problems. If you find yourself staying up late to finish your reading or work, you might want to think about putting in extra time on the weekend so that you can get a good night's rest during the week. If you're pressed for time and unable to prepare or plan healthy meals, check out the campus dining options or try to set aside some time on the weekend to do grocery shopping so that you have access to a variety of healthy options, [5]

Additionally, now is an excellent moment to seek support from relatives who want to assist you but are unsure how. If you start to feel really nervous or sad, talk to a counsellor. A few times a month, many programmes offer a confidential programme where you can speak with a professional and possibly find some relief. Otherwise, speak with a friend or relative who did not attend law school. A discussion or a time to vent may be able to give you some clarity or comfort. Last but not least, a lot of law students think that exercising is a terrific way to relieve stress and incorporate it into their weekly schedule as a crucial component of their general health.


CONCLUSION

The first year of law school is a challenge that necessitates our highest commitment, resiliency, and adaptation. Although the journey is emotionally and physically taxing, it can also be extremely inspiring and fulfilling. The law school's students are exposed to a demanding curriculum, long study sessions, and the stress of performing well during the course of the academic year.

The ability to manage your time well is crucial for success in law school. Maintaining a healthy and sustainable lifestyle requires finding a balance between the workload, extracurricular activities, and personal life. Getting support from teachers, mentors, and peers can also be quite helpful because they can provide direction, inspiration, and experience-based ideas.

It takes more than simply survival to make it through the first year of law school; you need to thrive in a setting that promotes intellectual development and develops future legal professionals into skilful advocates for justice. Students can overcome the difficulties and leave the first year stronger, wiser, and prepared to start an exciting legal profession by being determined, persistent, and dedicated to studying.



AUTHOR - Kashish Agarwala

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