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10 Things to Do Before You Start 1L Hell

By William Peacock, Esq. | Last updated on

1L year starts in August. That means, between now and then, you've got a couple months to burn.

Some will say that you should take an expensive pre-law boot camp course. (Hah!). The gunner from 1L hell is already memorizing black letter outlines. And the social butterfly is Pinterest-ing party ideas, student groups to lead, and pubs to crawl.

What should you, the sane one, do?

10. Relax As Much as Possible

This is your life: study, take finals, study, take finals, find a summer gig, study, take finals, study, take finals, find a summer gig, fake studying during 3L, take the bar exam, and then start a job (hopefully).

Nowhere in that list is "free time." Besides, a break now reduces the chances of burning out midway through 1L year.

9. Read Anything But Law

You're going to be reading billions of pages of law, so don't waste your time starting now, when you know nothing. But, you should read other stuff (news, novels, whatever) to get used to marathon reading sessions.

8. Figure Out Where You're Going, Maybe

Okay, you read our list of considerations, picked a school, and put down a seat deposit. Now, one of the jilted schools might come back with another offer. Perhaps, also, you should send a "thanks, but I can't afford your school" letter to jilted schools to let them know that you'd reconsider if they up their scholarship game.

The point is: be flexible, weigh your options, and keep an open mind to last-minute offers. They do happen, especially now that schools are struggling to fill seats.

7. Save Money

Moving is expensive. So is a deposit on an apartment, books, food, etc. If you financial aid gets delayed, or isn't paid out until school starts, you'll need some savings to get started.

6. Pack Your Stuff

Pack lightly. Get rid of a lot of your old crap -- beer bongs from college, freebie t-shirts, broken musical instruments, etc. You won't have time for most of it, and if you're moving long distance, is it worth the cost to haul all of it?

5. Find a Place to Live

Three things to consider: cheap, quiet, location (close to school, close to social events/bars).

4. Get There Early

My moving truck broke down in Nevada. I was headed to Lexington, Virginia for 1L year. I got there with one day to spare. Don't be me. You'll need to set up your apartment, figure out transportation, learn the lay of the land, etc.

3. Leave Distractions Behind

You probably won't have time for video games, movies, your vinyl collection (actually, bring that), and all of your other hobbies, which may not survive law school. It's good to have one or two, for study breaks and weekends, but don't tempt yourself too much.

2. Cut the Umbilical Cord

Family. It's great, except when you don't have time for it. And you won't, except maybe on holidays. Warn them. Ask for distance. And keep the "Airplane Mode" button on your phone handy.

1. Bookmark Greedy Associates

C'mon, you didn't think I was going to forget to plug our blog, did you? G.A., as we like to call it around here, is a blog that covers everything from pre-L to desperate post-bar unemployment. We've got your back.

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