I was so nervous before I started Law school that I had actually worked myself up into a bit of a frenzy. What was it actually going to be like and how would I survive? ( yes I had seen legally blonde)
I did survive of course.
I completed my Bachelor of Laws at University of Glasgow and was awarded LL.B( Hons ) and Then I completed the diploma in Legal practice in 2011.
Here are my top ten tips for surviving that first year at Law school. I wish someone had told me before I started.
1. Don’t watch others scribble lots of notes in lectures and feel that you have to write them too. During lectures LISTEN . I found that when I was preparing for exams I very rarely read any of the scribbled notes.
Keep your focus on what is being said. A few key bullet points or a mind map are far better.
2. Enjoy freshers week. It’s University not a life sentence ( though at times it feels like it)
3. Don’t be scared – NO not everyone is a straight A student, smarter than you or knows everything. Even straight A students can mess up.In first year we are all in the same boat.
4. Plan, yes I mean really plan to work ALL through the year. Prepare for your tutorials and set aside reading time every day.If you leave it will build up.Get it done.Do it, straight away.
5. Join clubs, mooting societies and fun clubs too.
6 Read cases yourself. Try and get into a habit of doing a short summary mind map or paragraph to help you remember.You don’t need to remember ALL the facts just the ratio and what has been decided and why that is important.
7. Think about REAL life when you are reading cases.Law does not exist in a separate world ,it is about real people,relationships,commerce and Life. Stay real.
8. Ask for help if you need it.There is NO SHAME in asking for help.I asked all the time if perhaps I didn’t understand something or the relevance of a case.
9. Law is not just for first year its something that will stay with you forever.Take your time its a long journey.
10. Enjoy yourself.You have events,networking,exams,friends and lots of trips to the pub ahead.I had a fantastic time in first year and yes I survived and If I can you will.
Michelle L Hynes LL.B(Hons) DipLP