Skip To The Main Content

In This Section

The time between when you submit your law school application and arrive on campus for first-year orientation will fly by. Before you know it, you’re a full-fledged law student, taking classes, crushing clinics, and working with faculty on cases that feel like something out of a movie.

So how do you make the most of it all? And what should you do as a future law student, preparing for your first year? Following this advice from law students who’ve been there is a good place to start.

Give it your all

Alison-SheaAlison Shea
Class of 2018

“You get out of it what you put in. You’ll have lots of different jobs in life, but you only go to law school once.”

It's not undergrad 2.0

Chelsea-CarltonChelsea Carlton
Class of 2019

Law school is a very new experience coming from an undergraduate program, and some of the habits you may have developed will not be a good fit. Take advantage of programs (like the New England Law Academic Excellence Program) and stay flexible and open to new ways of approaching your studies.

Be thoughtful

Czara-VenegasCzara Venegas
Class of 2018
Sit down and really think deeply about what drives your desire to be a lawyer. Your first year is daunting, humbling, and eye-opening. It is important to recognize where your passion lies early on, so you can use it as fuel in the future when school seems impossible. Remember to prioritize self-care and mental health. Law school is a high-pressure environment, and you can easily forget to take care of yourself when you’re constantly putting your energy in other things. Self-care first!”

Get experience

Anissa-DavidsonAnissa Davidson
Class of 2019
Take a clinic! I have been able to explore different areas of law I did not think I would be interested in and develop practical lawyering skills. This has given me more legal experience than most 2Ls are able to get.”

Networking is no joke

Roselle-AgdipaRoselle M. Agdipa
Class of 2018

“So much of your law school experience, and especially the hands-on work opportunities you have, are based on how you present yourself in front of attorneys in interviews and in networking sessions. Never underestimate a contact you make in a networking session, because they may become the individual that opens your eyes to the field of law you become passionate about."

It’s a full-time job

Ben-StrobeckBen Strobeck
Class of 2019
Treat the first year of law school as more than a full-time job, but do not abandon your family or friends. Study hard and be intentional so that when you recuperate you feel like you earned it.”

But you can make work…work

Abbey-YoungAbbey K. Young
Class of 2019
I’m going to completely contradict everything everyone else tells you…but you can have a job and be successful in law school (even during 1L year!). Time management is key. Find a rhythm that works for you, and be okay with cutting back on hours if you need to. If you’re like me and holding a job is important to your identity, you can make it work.” 

Don’t give up

Chevelle-Allison-McIntoshChevelle Allison-McIntosh
Class of 2018
Keep pushing! You will always feel like you do not understand some of the material as you should or that you aren’t capable, especially the first year of law school. But at the end of the day, you have to tell yourself that you made it this far, and you would not have been invited to attend the school if the admissions committee didn’t think you were capable. So keep pushing—you will get through it.” 

Protect your rep

Class of 2015

“Reputation is everything. It’s a small world. Judges and other lawyers will remember you.”

Enjoy it!

London-LundstromLondon Lundstrum
Class of 2019

“Although law school can certainly be stressful, you will become part of a tight-knit community where there will always be someone to study with or just have fun with.” 

Want more law school advice and real-world stories? Learn from these New England Law | Boston students and others on our Meet Our Students and Alumni page.