If you are a law school applicant, one of the following is probably true:

  1. You have decided on a school and now are spending an inordinate amount of money on logo-emblazoned sweatshirts, key fobs, and puppy snuggies to advertise your choice; or
  2. You haven’t made a choice, and you are thoughtfully weighing the pros and cons–ie: coin-flipping v. rock-paper-scissors.

Even the dog knows, he looks silly

Once you make your decision, you might be wondering what to do the summer before law school starts.  1L is hard, you hear. Should you get a head start by reading Torts study guides and old Civil Procedure textbooks? You could even start drafting cover letters for feeder judges and recheck the citations in old Law Review articles!

Well, take it from someone who is “still a student in good standing at NYU Law” (as stated in the “Honors” section of my resumé): Take all of those commercial outlines, textbooks and Law School Confidential and Getting to Maybe-type books you’ve accumulated and burn them.

Burn, baby, burn!!!

Bask in the flames’ warmth on a chilly summer’s eve. Do something preposterous like drink beer on a weekday. Talk to your friends about something other than whether Batman violated federal securities law by using shell corporations to become the majority shareholder of Wayne Enterprises. Relax with old friends or travel and meet new friends. This will prepare you for 1L better than pre-cramming for Contracts ever could.

You will have plenty of time to learn how to outline, prepare for interviews and take an exam when you are at law school. Reading cases out of context probably isn’t worth the time you’d put into it.

Right now, don’t stress.

The best preparation is probably moving into your new place a few weeks before classes start. Scope out the neighborhood and find three to five solid lunch options, a dependable dry cleaner, a go-to Thai takeout place, and a coffee shop with a real espresso machine. Snatch up the cheap used textbooks from the bookstore or Amazon (just don’t read them yet!). And make yourself at home. Not knowing which bar has the best Happy Hour specials is a lot more disorienting than Pierson v. Post.

So put down the law books and relish your free time. Take a walk around the park with your blanketed pets. It is beautiful outside: ENJOY IT!!!

This entry was written by and posted on May 23, 2010.
The entry was filed under these categories: Tips and Advice

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One comment on “The Best Way to Prepare for 1L Year
  1. KRU says:

    Still in the application process, but I am nervous about the whole experience. You say relax take it easy before your first year, but how about if you’re not familiar with the jargon or the concepts in this new found adventure. Most of my experience is in Business. Am I an exception to the “Just Chill Out” Rule??

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  1. […] law school at NYU. Sean Aasen, another Life at NYU Law blogger, gave great advice on what to do the summer before you start law school (Hint: it doesn’t involve any cramming.) Below is a summary of the […]

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