Enjoy your last summer of freedom. When fall comes and you start law school as a 1L, you can kiss fun-loving summers goodbye once and for all. As you spend most of your time enjoying the sun, or backpacking, or whatever it is college grads do these days, one of the things on your list should involve preparing for your first day of law school.
Here are the five things you'll need for law school. If you have them already, great, you're all done, or you may want to consider an upgrade. If you don't, try to get a summer job so you can afford the necessary goodies ...
Going solo out of school? Spend more time developing practice skills and leave the marketing work for the experts.
You need a laptop in law school. A desktop works hypothetically, but if you plan on getting your work done at school, Starbucks, or in the library, mobility is key. One of the best ways to study for law school exams is by creating outlines -- and you need a computer to do that.
2. Cell Phone
Sorry, there's no easy way to say this, but 1L is a time suck -- I've even gone so far as to call it boot camp. Since you won't be seeing much of your friends and family, you'll need your cell phone to let the outside world know that you're still alive. Upgrade to the latest smartphone so you can send them pics and videos of you sitting in the library.
3. Law School Study Supplements
At FindLaw, we all have our favorites, and as a self-proclaimed "sincere scholar," you should just look at mine (just kidding). No, you do not need to buy Black's Law Dictionary, but please know where to locate it in the law library because you will need it.
4. School Supplies
Forget buying a ton of school supplies. Aside from your assigned text books, all you need are Post-Its and your favorite writing implement (I prefer #2 pencils). Why, you ask? Read my post on how to take notes in law school -- that's why.
5. A Sturdy Bag
I recommend doing your reading in your law school's law library so you don't have to lug heavy text books, but there will be days when you will have to bring massive text books home with you, and for those days, we recommend a very sturdy bag that's easy on your back and shoulders.
See, not too bad, right? You probably have most of the stuff on this list already -- you just didn't know how important a role it would play in your 1L year. Enjoy these last few months, and let us know whatever questions you may have about being a first year on Twitter @FindLawLP or Facebook for Legal Professionals.
Editor's Note, August 4, 2015: This post was first published in August 2014. It has since been updated.
- It's the Climb: Goal Setting for Law School (FindLaw's Greedy Associates Blog)
- 5 Truths to Help You Survive 1L (That You Might Not Know About) (FindLaw's Greedy Associates Blog)
- 10 Things to Do Before You Start 1L Hell (FindLaw's Greedy Associates Blog)