It's late October and if you're a current 1L, you're most likely continuing to adjust to the rigors of law school. Everyone has his or her own style on how to succeed in law school. There isn't one way to do it. That said, I wanted to share some quick tips that helped me navigate 1L year.
Brief Cases, But Feel Free to Eventually Transition Away
Yes, it’s important to brief cases when you’re just starting out. It helps prepare you for class, especially when professors are grilling you about the discrete facts of a case, the issue, and the holding. But I think you can stray away from briefing every single case as you become more comfortable reading cases. You’ll have to determine exactly when this is, but the ultimate point is that you’re not sabotaging yourself if you stop briefing cases.
Find Prior Outlines From 2Ls and 3Ls
I took a different path and tried to primarily craft my own outlines. While I thought it would be a good exercise when reviewing all of the material, it ended up taking too much time. Instead of doing all of the legwork yourself, see if you can find an outline that a 2L or 3L used for your course. Even better, try to find one used by a student that received an A in that course.
1L year is critical. I get it. But you simply can’t study all the time. In fact, it’ll probably do more damage in the long run (think burnout). There are several things you can do to avoid this. I’d highly recommend that you join a club, regularly exercise, hang out with friends, and perhaps even develop a meditation practice. Whatever you need to do, just ensure that you are getting away from the books. Ultimately, it’s better to study smarter, not harder.