July 3, 2017

5 Things to do the Summer Before Law School

Hi guys! In case you didn't know, this blog was created because of my nerves before law school. And I know if you're here reading this now then you probably are feeling the same never too lol. So I thought I'd take some time for today's post to talk about what you can be doing your summer before law school.


Best case scenario, you get a paid job in the legal field. But I'm a realist so I will just let you know now that unless you already know someone who has a law firm that has an opening, then this probably isn't going to happen. Unless you need to get a job to survive, your next best option would be to just go to law firms and see what free help you can do. Even if you're not getting paid, this will give you some great experience! You'll be learning vocab and why things happen the way they do before you even step foot in to a class and that will help you a lot. Another bonus is that you'll also be a little ahead of your classmates when you go to apply for jobs because you have relevant experience.

On the flip side of this, if you need cash flow or you strike out trying to find an unpaid job at a firm (yeah I know right like wtf why is it so hard to even get an unpaid job?!), then just get you any job. If you thought college was expensive, try tripling that and that's about what you'll be spending in law school. So money can always help. Even if you have a full-ride scholarship or your parents are nice enough to cover this for you, you'll find a need for this money at some point. Books, supplements, and a lawyer wardrobe are three things that will cost more than you anticipate. Plus, getting in the groove of a set schedule will help you later on.

Watch a trial

Trust me when I say that it'll be to your benefit if you can go watch a trial. Trials are open to the public so you should be able to find one without much problem. Just go down to your nearest court, let them know that you're an incoming law student, and tell them that you are interested in watching a case. In my experience, court clerks are super helpful about getting you in to see some action. 

Even if you want to do one type of law but you can only find cases that are for something totally unrelated, it's still worth it to go. Just like working in a law firm, you'll learn so much about things in the law that will really help you connect and understand what you learn in class. Most importantly, it opens the door to the golden word in law school: networking. Seriously, every career service person, academic support person, or lawyer that you meet will tell you that it's not about the grades you make; it's about the hands you shake is soo true in law school. So get your name out there, meet people, ask questions, and get to know more about the world that you're about to be thrown in.

Be childish

Ok so I know this is completely opposite of the last points but in reality most people turn in to total nerds when they get in to law school. I'm talking you're in bed by 11 on a Saturday night because you know you need to not be hungover the next morning so you can read for your next class. So while you're out there gaining some experience, also be young. 

Remember that you're still in your early 20's and according to SATC, you're supposed to be taking body shots and burping the alphabet or something. You're about to be super lame so have some fun while you can (but remember that the Bar is still watching you so like, not too much fun).

Explore your new city

Almost everyone I know ends up moving to a brand new city for law school. And while you may be thinking oh I have a whole 3 years to explore this city, chances are that won't be as easy as you thought. The problem with law school is that a lot of times you're either too busy reading to do anything or by the time that you have free time to do something, you're so tired you just want to sit on your ass and binge watch Shameless (PS if you haven't seen it then just stop reading this now and go watch it. Only come back once you have a solid opinion on whether juvie Carl or cop Carl is better).

Ok got off topic there for a sec. But anyways, yeah. What I wish I would've done differently is move in a week or two before orientation. Guilt trip your mom, friends, sister, whoever in to staying with you and then go out exploring. It'll help with the homesickness that's gonna slap you in a few months and it'll come in handy when your classmates all say they're going out to this one place and you have no idea if thats a bar or a restaurant or where it even is. Lastly, it'll remind you that there's more to do in that city than just read about the Dormant Commerce Clause.


I'm torn between telling you to read before law school. It's a very fine line between getting used to a heavy reading load nightly and burning yourself out. I tend to get burned out and I've been a big reader my whole life, so I personally opted for the no-read summer. But if you're not a reader, than it might not hurt to slowly work your way up to being able to read 50 pages a night. 

If you're wondering about pre-law books, here's my limited advice. I did not read any how-to-law-school books before I came (I guess because I was too busy trying to write about it), so I can't tell you whether or not I think they'll help you. I've passed this far so all I can say from experience is Is it necessary? no, Is it helpful? maybe. I've seen lots of recommendations for Getting to Maybe, so right now my plan is to start there and read through a few of the other big name pre-law books and give y'all a review. I'm a little busy rn (so much for 3lol) so I'm not sure if I'll be able to get around to that. If you've read this or any other law school book, please comment below what you thought of it so that others can know if it's worth it or not!!

What NOT to do

Stress yourself out too much. I promise you that you'll be fine without taking a pre law prep class over the summer and you won't be behind if you haven't started pre-learning about your courses. If you want to skim through an E&E, that's probably as much as I'd say is sane to do (Q: What's an E&E? A: here). Just know that if you do any of this, you're just being extra. So in my opinion you're definitely not too far behind if you hear the word "tort" for the first time at orientation. You're smart- you'll catch up.


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