Four Things I Wish I Knew Before Law School

Time flies when you’re having fun — and apparently it flies in law school, too. Jokes aside, as my 1L year comes to a close, I can safely say that I’ve had a great experience at BC so far. Still, looking back, there are certain things I wish I had known beforehand or done differently. For those of you with lawyers in the family or who did a lot more research than me before enrolling, some of these tips may seem like common sense. But for those who are less informed — and as an ode to a classic impact blog series — here are four things I wish I knew before coming to BC.

1. Cast a Wide Net(work)

Before coming to law school, I thought networking was just a made-up corporate word for drinking cocktails and trading business cards. While there may be kernels of truth in that assessment, the networking events offered at BC are something every student should take advantage of. This is especially true if, like me, you come into law school wanting to work at a big law firm without actually knowing anything about big law firms. Many of the representatives at these events are BC Law alumni, meaning they were once in your exact situation and are almost always willing to help in any way they can. With firms screening students for summer jobs earlier and earlier nowadays, making connections sooner rather than later can’t hurt.

2. Find Ways to Test Yourself

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of 1L year for me was realizing most classes only have one test — the final exam. While some professors will have the occasional graded assignment over the course of the semester, generally speaking, the final determines your entire grade for the course. Leading up to that point, the only homework you’ll have is to read (a lot) and be prepared to discuss that reading in class. Because there are no quizzes or tests, you don’t get much feedback, so I’ve found that it’s helpful to test yourself so you can see how well you are comprehending the material. Online services like Quimbee offer a variety of outlines, quizzes, and flashcards that you can use to test your knowledge. The last thing you’ll want to do is give yourself more work, but if you can make the time, you’ll thank yourself later.

3. Connect with Your Professors

If you followed my previous advice and took some online tests, only to find that your comprehension isn’t as strong as you thought, don’t panic — your professors are here to help. According to the Princeton Review, BC Law is ranked 8th in the country for best law school professors, and I can see why. While I’ve only taken a year’s worth of classes so far, all the professors I’ve had have been very approachable and passionate about their subjects. Additionally, your professors can be great resources if you’re interested in finding work in their field. One of my regrets is not finding the time to go to office hours more often and form better relationships with my professors, so learn from my mistakes and put yourself out there — it might pay off in a big way.

4. Outline Early & Take Practice Exams

Final exams are stressful, but the one good thing is that most of them are open-book. This means you can reference the casebook and your notes as you take the test, but given the time constraints, flipping through all those pages might be more of a curse than a blessing. That’s why students are advised to make outlines, which essentially summarize everything you need to know from the course. Still, making outlines takes longer than you’d expect, which is why I’d recommend working on them throughout the semester instead of waiting until the end. That way once classes are officially over, you can use the reading days before finals to take practice exams. I can’t speak for every class, but all of my professors provided some of their past exams for students to take ahead of the final, and using those to simulate the real test is a great way to prepare yourself.

Eddie Godino is a first-year student at BC Law. Contact him at

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