Hello, reader. You’ve happened upon “Dear My 1L Self.” Have you heard of this epic library blog series? Wherein law librarians, 2Ls/3Ls, and other intriguing interlocutors engage in anachronistic correspondence w/ their 1L selves? Wherein said correspondence dispenses sage advice that readers would do well to take under advisement? In today’s wise & witty epistle, Reference GRA Colin Daniels addresses his 1L self…
Dear 1L Colin,
I’ve got good news and sad news from the future. First the bad. By your 2L year, law school professors acquire technology that enables them to target a live cold call at any student anywhere on earth—Zoom. On the bright side, I can help you get by as a 1L.
Let’s start with suggestions. The Library’s VIP study rooms have outlets and beautiful marble-white whiteboard walls. Fill a study room with reliable people who keep motivate each other. Take notes and stick to a consistent study plan. There’s a lot of information to track over a semester. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Because law school is a marathon, you need to remember you’re a human being with physical limitations. Go through the syllabi at the beginning of the year and stick deadlines into a calendar. Then schedule time well in advance of due dates to work on projects. While you can spend a forty-eight hour period furiously writing a 1L foundations paper, you never want to turn in the first draft of anything you’ve written.
More importantly, you’re going to miss a lot of mistakes if you’re sleep deprived. Just schedule your time instead so you can make slow and steady progress on assignments. Your body and your GPA will thank you.
You’re going to make mistakes. Your biggest is not writing practice exams. Yes, they’re exhausting when many things demand your time. Don’t wait to start writing practice exams until you have a perfect outline (because it’ll never be perfect). Ultimately, 1L Colin, because you don’t take any practice contracts exams, your final exam reads like the next paragraph.
Buy a printer. Take half-days on Friday. Meet other students. It’s not a competition. Watch trashy reality TV occasionally (or frequently). Learn about bird law. Go meet a professor during office hours. Use a watch and a calendar. Get a free lunch (and learn something) at meetings and events. Take a mindfulness seminar. Read the career services emails. Borrow whiteboard markers from the library. Look into GRA positions for experience and a tuition discount. Interviewers care about personality, so don’t forget about the hobbies and interests that make you an interesting person.
Good luck, and don’t worry too much. You can always try for Tik Tok fame.