Skip To The Main Content
Menu
Search

In This Section

What I Wish I Knew Before Law School: Essential Advice for First-Year Law Students
Things to know before you start your 1L year

Heads up, incoming law students: these are the tips you need to hear before 1L year. They come directly from New England Law | Boston students who crushed their first year of law school. You can too if you follow their advice.

Don’t stress—yet

Nicholas-Babaian1Nicholas Babaian
Class of 2020

“Don’t stress about law school until the first day you’re actually in classes. There is no sense in proactively freaking out and reading 100 books about being a 1L. Enjoy the summer beforehand, and when school does start, focus hard.”

Nose, meet grindstone

Hailey-ManfrediHailey Manfredi
Class of 2019

“Put your nose to the grindstone and get it done. There is no watershed moment and there is no enlightening class about how you, as an individual, study best. Yes, law schools offer tons of resources to help you learn (like the Academic Excellence Program). But while these resources can be really helpful, they don’t mean anything if you don’t take the information and apply it to your own study habits.”

Brief every case

Mariam-BhattiMariyam B. Bhatti
Class of 2020

“Make sure you brief every case you read and do it the night you read it. It is so easy to fall behind when you think, ‘I’ll do the brief later’ or ‘I’ll do it on the weekend’ because there is really no time to go back to a specific case after you have read more over the course of the week.”

It's more than a 9-to-5

Chelsea-CarltonChelsea Carlton
Class of 2019

“People were always saying ‘treat law school like a full-time job’…but if you want to be involved on campus and in student life, it’s more than a 9-to-5. Time management is so key.”

Find your people

anthony-bushAnthony L. Bush
Class of 2020

“If you’re the kind of person that works best alone, great. If not, having a tight-knit group of friends who can understand and participate in your struggle with you can make a big difference.”

Time management, time management, time management

Ashley-RozesAshley D. Rozes
Class of 2018

“Time management should be your number one priority. Have a schedule, not only for work, not only for school, but for everything. Make sure each week is planned. So many hours need to be dedicated to studying and class prep, and you will know your standard class and work hours. But the most important thing is to take time out for yourself. Do not put yourself last. Have a plan. We can only achieve real success by remaining well-rounded and happy.”

Outline upfront

Vaishali-RamlalVaishali Ramlal
Class of 2020

“Don’t wait until the last minute to outline for exams; plan out when you’re going to outline in advance. Ideally, you should outline at the end of each class unit.”

Forget FOMO

Xena-RobinsonXena Robinson
Class of 2019

“The parties aren’t going anywhere and neither are your friends. You invested so much to come to law school, so act like it. There are still ways to have fun and de-stress. You want to go out Saturday night? Have your readings for the beginning of the week done first. However, it’s important to know what weekends are strictly for the books and what weekends you can afford to have a little fun.”

Read!

George-MalonoukosGeorge N. Malonoukos
Class of 2020

“Read. Read. Read. Use your weekends to ease the workload for the week. You’ll love your past self come finals.”

Get involved

Cayla BarbourCayla Barbour
Class of 2018

“Explore your opportunities. Don’t be afraid. Hindsight is 20/20, but I think if I had just been a little bit less anxious at the beginning of law school, I probably could’ve seen things a little bit better. I wish I had known that I could do a lot of exploring.”

It’s a marathon…

Amber-TrotterAmber Trotter
Class of 2020

“They say studying for the bar exam is a marathon and not a sprint. I would say that also applies to your 1L year. It doesn’t benefit you to stay in the library every night until it closes or to stay up late at home trying to get through your assignments. Set to-do lists for yourself and put time limits on them. Allow yourself a little bit of a break each night. Otherwise, you’ll burn out before finals even start, which is when law school really kicks into gear. Although it’s a lot of work, it’s all doable.”

Don’t struggle in silence

Brigitte-AlexanderBrigitte A. Alexander
Class of 2018

“If you’re struggling, ask for help. Your classmates and the faculty members are always willing to help you if you just ask.”

Networking is everything

Crystal-CascanteCrystal Cascante
Class of 2020

“Don’t underestimate the power of networking! Networking and making connections will help you stand out from a pool of job applicants when it comes time to apply for jobs and internships. New England Law provides students with many opportunities to network with not only alumni but other attorneys, firms, and companies throughout Boston.”

Remember: to thine own self be true

Stephanie-NilesStephanie Niles
Class of 2020

“Do not forget what made you you before you entered law school. Hold onto that and try to incorporate that into your law school life.”

Want to advice from even more law students (and alumni!) who survived their 1L year? Read their profiles now.