The first few weeks of law school can be both thrilling and terrifying—an avalanche of reading, Latin lawyer lingo, and exacting methodology for thinking and writing about the law. This world of intellectual challenges takes place in an unfamiliar setting. Not only are students meeting new people and getting accustomed to a rigorous academic schedule, but many have also left behind the comforts of home, relocating to a new city, state, or even country to embark on the study of law. Forging into the unknown is fraught with great possibility and a bit of trepidation.
Because they are on the frontline of teaching first-year law students fundamental lawyering skills, Legal Writing professors can work to capture students’ imaginations and demystify the law school experience. Legal Writing is likely to be the course with the lowest professor to student ratio in the first year of law school and typically continues for two semesters. Teaching small groups of first-year students for a full year, Legal Writing professors are uniquely well positioned to ease students’ transition. Continue reading “Getting Them at Hello: Creative Teaching Techniques and Exercises to Engage New Law Students”
By: Brandon LaRose (WFU Law ’20) with contributions by Professor Abigail Perdue
If I could give one piece of advice to the person I was on the first day of law school, it would be to remain humble and be confident. One’s mental state plays a heavy role in ensuring a positive law school experience. Confidence anchors this idea of mental wellness, the importance of which is emphasized from day one. There is a fine line, however, between confidence and cockiness. Continue reading “Maintaining Humble Confidence in Law School”
By: Thayse M. Almeida Wall (WFU Law ’20) with contributions by Professor Abigail Perdue
If I could give one piece of advice to the person I was on the first day of law school, it would be to keep in mind how lucky you are. For me, the law school application process started with the infamous LSAT. You might think this test is no big deal, but as a native Brazilian, I only started learning English during college. So I could barely understand the questions when I first read an LSAT exam let alone answer them correctly. But after a year of studying reading comprehension, logical reasoning, logic games, and taking too many practice exams to count, I finally got a score that would allow me to apply for a “well-ranked” law school. Continue reading “A Letter to my 1L Self”
If I could give one piece of advice to the person I was on the first day of law school, it would be to ask more questions. Ask more questions to my classmates, both in my class and the classes above me; to my professors, and not just the ones on my schedule; and to the staff who help make Wake Law what it is—a real community. Continue reading “A Letter to my 1L Self”
If I had to sum up my 1L year in 750 words or less, it would go a little something like this…Undoubtedly, being a 1L is very different from being a freshman undergraduate student, but there are many similarities. In both cases, everyone gets to campus feeling scared. And anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying or inhuman. You’re (probably) in a new place where you (probably) don’t know many people. And just like freshman year, you show up to that first class bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with your shiny new notebooks and fresh highlighters, only to feel like you’re drowning within 10 minutes of listening to the professor. And then, you get cold-called for the first time. If you’re lucky, you nail it and your 1L year is off to a great start. If you’re not so lucky, like me, you get it wrong and call your mom after class, crying about how you’re never going to succeed here. But eventually, you muddle through the school year and your exam grades aren’t that bad. So, after an entire winter break spent figuring out if you’re going to stick it out for another two and a half years, or drop out and work in retail for the rest of your life, you decide you kind of like making enough money to live on, and your English degree will probably get you nowhere, so you might as well go back and give it another go. And then, you hit the ground running and just. Keep. Going.