For those about to begin their law school journey at NYU:

The band Journey

If you are a gunner like I am, you may be curious as to what to expect your 1L year.  Now that I have survived it, I can provide an overview.

August:  Move in early to explore your surroundings.  Orientation lasts a week.  Student organizations host social events to introduce you to the NYU community.  Make friends with your classmates, as they will be your support network throughout this intense year.

September:  Classes begin, which, for you, are Contracts, Torts/Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, and Lawyering.  You are introduced to the world of legal research via LexisNexis and Westlaw, and to legal citation via the infamous Bluebook.  The amount of time it takes to research will exponentially decrease across the year, I promise.  Join or organize a flag football team with your Lawyering class.  Balance class work with student organizations and speaker events.

October:  Teaching assistants for each of your classes host optional small group sessions to discuss practice problems.  Attend.  Many students form study groups at this time.  Take advantage of group lunches with your professors.  Fall Ball—the biggest party of the semester—arrives just in time as a farewell to your freedom before finals begin.

November:  Most of your time is spent outlining as you officially go into “lock-down mode.”  The Lawyering course hibernates until spring, allowing you to fully focus on finals.  The pitifully short Thanksgiving break is too little, too late; most of your “time off” will be spent preparing for looming finals.

December:  Classes end.  After completing your outlines, begin taking practice exams.  Your TAs and/or professors will hold review sessions.  Exams begin, and you lose all sense of time (and self).  Holidays immediately follow, with you too exhausted to realize the world did not stop turning while you were in law school.

January:  The great summer job search begins.  You may feel idle over the break, as you have become accustomed to constant levels of work.  Or perhaps you will appreciate the sweet taste of freedom that much more.  Grades from last semester are released.  You are introduced to three new areas of law: Admin, Criminal Law/Torts, and your choice of an elective (Constitutional Law, Corporations, International Law, Property, or Tax).  You will wonder why you ever found reading dense cases difficult.

February:  The job search continues, but now in combination with a full load of classes.  The PILC Career Fair comes to the rescue to help you network and explore internship opportunities.  Professors post ads for research assistants for the summer.

March:  All 1Ls seeking summer funding volunteer at the PILC Auction.  The deadline to confirm your summer job for PILC funding is halfway through the month.  You frantically work to complete your Lawyering brief before spring break.  Clinic applications for the following school year become available.  Spring Fling, unable to rival Fall Ball, sends you off for the semester’s week-long break.

April:  The law school’s musical, Law Revue, is a must-see.  You participate in an oral argument based on your brief in front of an attorney or judge.  Bust out your pom-poms for the Deans’ Cup.  Shortly into the month, you’re back in outlining/lock-down mode.  This time, however, you know what to expect.  Student organizations advertise executive board applications for the following year.

May:  Finish outlining, take practice exams, complete finals—you know the drill.  The finish is sweeter this time, since 1L year is officially over.  But the writing competition comes along the day after exams end, effectively killing your joy.  Temporarily, anyway.

June:  Start your summer internship (emphasis on “summer”), emerge from your 1L cocoon, and begin your reentry into the real world!

Now step away from the computer and enjoy your summer before the mad season begins.  But tune in soon for 2L year.

This entry was written by and posted on June 22, 2011.
The entry was filed under these categories: Campus Events, Classes, Clinics, Extracurricular Activities, Law Journals, Public Interest, Tips and Advice

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One comment on “1L Year in a Nutshell
  1. Awesome synopsis! Pay attention to what she said about April – you do not want to miss Law Revue! As a 1L, you’ll learn about it, as a 2L you’ll understand it, and as a 3L it will sum up your law school career.

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