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5 Things Law Students Can Improve Upon This Semester

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By Mark Wilson, Esq. on January 16, 2015 10:31 AM

It's a new year, and a new semester. Whether you're a 3L trying to knock out some credits by taking "Shakespearean legal theory" or a 1L wondering how you'll make it through another semester of contracts, there are always things you can improve upon.

Here are a few ideas for things law students can improve upon in the new year:

1. Your Eating Habits.

Breakfast, as they say, is the most important meal of the day. It's true: If you find yourself surviving the morning on coffee and a roll, you're probably hungry by the time lunch comes around (whenever that is). After filling your empty stomach with whatever free pizza you can scrounge up, you've got the inevitable post-lunch food coma.

By giving yourself some breakfast and then not eating crap for lunch, you'll be able to focus more and not think about falling asleep in the afternoon.

2. Your Writing Skills.

Everyone can use some improvement in their writing skills. Writing every day is a start: Keep a journal or do some blogging. Your writing will improve even more if you have someone criticizing your work. This requires joining a law review (if you haven't already), a moot court, or just writing newsletters. If you have any jobs or internships, ask for more writing responsibility, even if it's just memos, and be sure to get feedback.

3. Networking.

Start small to improve your networking skills by joining different organizations. This helps your resume. If you're the type of person who hates networking events because you're afraid to talk to strangers, then practice -- by talking to strangers. If you're in line for coffee, casually strike up a conversation with someone you don't know. The more you practice, the more it will become second nature.

4. Time Management.

When you become a hot-shot attorney, you'll have to juggle a dozen things at once. Better start learning how to do it now, rather than make a bunch of mistakes that will cost your clients in the future. If you're a procrastinator, figure out why you're a procrastinator and develop a method to prevent it. If you can't say "no," then start learning how before you become buried by all the crazy commitments you've made.

5. School/Life Balance.

Take a break every now and then. Law school is a full-time job, but that means only that it's a 40-hour-a-week job. You'll have plenty of time to alienate your friends and relatives when you're an associate working 80-hour weeks. Or even better, figure out how to balance school and life so you can import those techniques into work. Spend at least one weekend a month doing something fun, not outlining civil procedure.

What are you trying to improve this semester? Let us know via Twitter (@FindLawLP) or Facebook (FindLaw for Legal Professionals).

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