There is a lot of advice floating around for students preparing to start law school in the fall or spring semester. Some people tell you to read preparation books, while others will tell you not to do anything but relax and enjoy your summer. In this post, a former Coastal Law student, and current Admissions Counselor, gives incoming students great tips for preparing for law school. As you read this list, keep in mind that a healthy balance of preparation and relaxation is your best approach.
- Check your email! You will receive plenty of emails from now until classes start. Be sure to read these emails for new updates and information. The Admissions Office and other departments or programs have important and helpful information to share. Don’t miss out by not reading your emails.
- Complete the financial aid process early. The sooner you submit your FAFSA, the sooner you will receive your financial aid package detailing tuition, potential scholarships, and loans.
- Start budgeting. Know your budget early so you can take out the lowest amount of loans necessary. Remember, you have to pay back what you borrow plus interest.
- Look for housing. Use a rental search company like Jacksonville Rental Finders to help ease the burden of a large scale housing search. They will work with you for free to find housing that meets your needs and budget.
- Save money for your move. Moving is expensive. Start saving early to prepare for all the expenses, such as first and last month’s rent, security deposits, moving trucks, or purchasing furniture.
- Move in as early as possible. Once you decide on a school and find your housing, move in as early as possible. Time your route to school and home during rush hour. Explore the area and all that it has to offer. When you need a study break, you’ll know what to do!
- Buy your course books after you receive your class schedule. Your book list will depend on your given professors. Once you receive your schedule, go to the bookstore’s website and find the books required for each class. Bonus tip: If you choose to buy through the Coastal bookstore, you can defer payment until you receive your loan stipend.
- Enjoy free time. Do not stress yourself out before you even have your first class. You will be busy for the next three years, so enjoy as much of your free time now as you can. Visit with family and friends and let them know your free time may be limited later.
- Be excited! Law school is a huge accomplishment and should be celebrated. Be proud that you have made it this far! Look forward to your legal education and take advantage of available opportunities.
- Read at least one of these suggested law school books. Before burning yourself out, keep in mind that you do not need to read all of these before your first year starts. You don’t want to burn yourself out before you even begin law school.
- Bridging the Gap Between College & Law School: Strategies for Success, Ruta Stropus & Charlotte Taylor (2001)
- Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams, Richard Fischl & Jeremy Paul (1999)
- Expert Learning for Law Students, Michael Hunter Schwartz (2005)
- The Eight Secrets of Top Exam Performance in Law School, Charles H. Whitebread (2008)
- Mastering the Law School Exam, Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus (2007)
- What Every Law Student Really Needs to Know, An Introduction to the Study of Law, Tracey E. George & Suzanna Sherry (2009)
- Legal Writing by Design, Teresa Rambo (2001)
For more detailed tips, check out our webinar on Preparing for Law School.