Things I Wish I Knew, Vol. 8: The best way to prepare for law school this summer

…is to not prepare at all.

Dear Class of 2018, you have struggled through the undergraduate battleground, you finished a post-bachelor degree, or maybe you’ve summoned the courage to work AND apply to law school, and you’re positively ravenous for any advice on how to best prepare yourself for what lies ahead of you.

I have only three words for you: Treat. Yo. Self.

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For those of you unfamiliar with NBC’s Parks and Recreation, no worries – you have the entire summer with which to make yourself familiar. But for old fans of Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford, Treat Yo’ Self 2015 (aka, now until right around August 20th) should be spent on you.

The best advice I ever got before law school (though I didn’t realize it at the time) was to spend it doing all the things I wouldn’t get to do when I was in law school. So I got a summer job. I went to the beach and the pool as much as humanly possible. I developed my ability to watch 7 hours of Netflix in a mere 6 hours (the trick is to fast-forward through all the “Previously on”s and opening sequences). I read for fun. I hung out with my friends almost every day. I traveled. I stayed up late, I slept in, and it was all positively glorious. 

Because only a few short weeks later, I was waking up early for class, studying every single day (well, mostly), writing memos on subjects I had learned of only a few days prior, learning how to write an outline, and finally taking my first final.

From everyone I’ve talked to – even the people who elected to take a “law school prep” course of some kind – nothing prepares you for law school but law school itself.

So here’s what you can do to give yourself an edge:

Remember above all, that all your classmates are in the exact same boat as you, so your nervousness and anxiety is 100% normal. Come in with an open mind about what you’ll be expected to do and realize that law school is not the same as it’s portrayed in TV and movies. Be ready to make new friends and have new experiences. Make a list of 5 things you want to continue doing in law school that you won’t compromise on, and put it somewhere you can see easily in your house/apartment when you get here, whether it’s staying in touch with friends or staying in shape or watching your undergrad team’s football season. And this summer, take every opportunity to treat yourself.

After all, you did get into the best law school in the world, so you kind of deserve it.

I’m what I like to call a 1.5L (first year, second semester). Check out my posts about things I wish I knew as an incoming 1L so you’ll actually know them when you get here. My inbox is always open so you can comment on here, or shoot me an email at ochogo@bc.edu. 

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