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1Ls, Here Are 6 Things to Do Over Your Winter Break

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. | Last updated on

Our congratulations go out to the 1L's of the world! You've made it through your first semester of law school and the misery that is law school exams.

And now it's time for winter break. Finally, you get a brief respite from law school, a short return to normal life. Here's how to make the most of it.

1. Drop Out

We're not joking. For some students -- the kind who could barely bring themselves to study for finals, who were kept up all night by stress and regret, who would rather gnaw off their own foot than sit through another Civ Pro lecture -- winter break is a good time to drop out.

If you've finished your first semester and realize you absolutely hate law school and lawyers, consider cutting your losses and taking off now. Sure, you probably won't get your tuition refunded, but you can limit your debt and get back to earning an income and not hating your life.

2. Get a Job

Law schools are prohibited from offering career services to 1L's before November 1st, right when most of you start worrying about finals, not jobs. So if you haven't sent out any resumes, you're not alone. Make up for missed time by starting your job search over the break.

Research possible employers, from small firms to nonprofits and government agencies. Consider how you'll feed yourself in the summer. Is a paid internship necessary or can you go pro bono? (You might not have a choice.) And most importantly, consider how your 1L summer work will set you up for your make-or-break 2L summer.

3. Read a Non-Law Book

It's like reading is a bad habit and law school is a form of aversion therapy: make 'em read so much they'll hate it! Don't fall into the trap. Remember that there are good, non-law school books out there and use your brief vacation to check out one or two.

4. Volunteer

If you're a real gunner, consider volunteering for a legal nonprofit over your break. A short, discrete project like a legal memo, research paper, or filing system reorganization can give you a bit of work over the break, while helping you bad your resume and network with professionals.

5. Plan Your Next Semester

Now that you've gone through one semester, what's the best approach to the next? Do you need to switch up your note taking style or start outlining for finals earlier? Have you realized you can cram through a week's reading in a few days, or do you need to start balancing out your schedule better? Will you ever be able to go to the gym, hang out with non-law friends, or pick up old hobbies? These are the questions you should start answering.

6. Sleep in, Stay up, Run Wild

Or screw it! Do whatever you want! It's your break and it's not going to last for long.

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