How to survive law school-A guide for first year students


  1. Start outlining for each class from the very first day. Doing an outline for each class is the best road map you could use to guide you through studying. It is considered to be the world’s best study tool. An outline is basically a summary of your entire class, which will be outlining the most important notes you have for each class. It will also be the most important document you want to be studying from since it will contain all the legal rules and legal checklists that you should be aware of. It is the best way to store, remember and memorize information. Don’t forget, if they’re awesome, you may want to sell them on UniPro and make some money out of it too!
  2. Don’t read everything: law school is going to ask you to read a ridiculous amount of readings and believe it or not, reading everything is a waste of time. So be selective in your readings (try to focus on the most important things). Reading your case summaries is actually so much more helpful than reading the whole case.
  3. Learn how to read efficiently.  What does that mean? Reading cases and legal literature is different than any other material you have previously read. Whenever you’re reading anything ask yourself: why am I being asked to read this? Usually every assigned case decision that you read is telling you a new rule that you should be familiar with.
  4. Make case summaries! You want them to contain facts, legal issues and above all-the main rule that the case is providing. When it is time to study for your tests, you will be grateful for these summaries because you simply won’t have the time to study everything.
  5. Do not miss class. If you do not have the time to go to class, then you are doing something wrong! Time management is key and you do not want to miss anything important said in class. No class is ever going to be less important than another.
  6. Visit your professors if there’s anything that you do not understand, you may find that a one-on-one meetings are sometimes more helpful than the class itself. However, make sure you formulate specific and clear questions about what you do not understand before asking for a meeting or going to your professor’s office hours.
  7. Learn to cite properly from the beginning, you do not want to learn it the day before your paper! Always refer back to a guide that you feel comfortable with whether it is through MLA, APA, or any other citing style.
  8. Do not go to networking and career events until your second semester at least because in your first semester you simply do not have enough legal knowledge to make a positive impression on lawyers you’re engaging with.
  9. Have a life outside of Law school: your life with your family and friends keep you sane, you don’t have to sacrifice everything you love to do just to get good grades in law school. Expand your horizons and take advantage of the time you have in university. After all, it’s only a couple of years before it’s all over!
  10. Maintain a healthy lifestyle: A happy body is a happy mind. Do not try to cheat on your sleep, you will not remember anything you studied the day after.


By: Lana Fadel


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