30 tips for first-year law students

Law school is a scary and mysterious place and incoming students often have very little idea what to expect. Anyone who is not apprehensive about starting law school does not sufficiently understand what he/she faces. Most frightening, and least understood, is that unlike college there is no warm up period. Your grades first semester could be the most important semester to test the waters and learn the ropes. There is no freshman year to write-off. You have to hit the ground running and the purpose of this article is to give you some advice on how to do that from the beginning. xxx (Jennifer S. Bard and Brett Gardner)

Many law students find the challenges of law school exhilarating, but are taken by surprise by the very different way in which legal material is taught and tested from the way they learned in the humanities, social sciences, or hard sciences. The students most surprised are those who have pursued a pre-law curriculum or have experience working as a clerk or a paralegal. These students may find the vocabulary familiar, but the playing field is even. Pianists do as well as political scientists when it comes to law school. This is because law school does not teach you about the law. It teaches you how to use the law to benefit your future clients. There is very little specialization in law school because very few students are sufficiently aware of the many kinds of legal practice available to them. (Jennifer S. Bard and Brett Gardner)