Survival tips for the first year law student

So it’s that time of the year when the academic year ends and its summer time. To some it could mean jetting off to an exotic holiday resort, finally relaxing after all the exam revision or finally letting out that excitement of finishing sixth form/college and looking forward to starting University in September. I can remember the excitement bundled with anxiety I had after receiving my unconditional offer to study law in Uni.

Lets start by the one question that we already know is asked when about to start uni, ”what degree are you going to study?” ”law” and the sudden daunted look followed with a ”wow, it’s a difficult degree why would you” expression. Apart from actually going to enrol, that itself got me anxious till the day I eventually started my first year. Lets not forget the ”oh its just first year its your year to play” talk. If this is you, lets say I have a few tips for you.

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First and foremost, Law just like any other degree is doable. There is the presumption that studying law is a long, boring, dreaded subject that you will stay in the library, read ancient books and most probably grow ancient yourself whilst at it. However it is regarded as one of the most prestigious degrees, therefore you will need to cope up with quite some reading (and some coffee too for the morning lectures).  which brings me to:

tip 1: LECTURES AND SEMINARS . I can not stress enough how important it is to attend every lecture, yes including that week 1 lecture after freshers week. Mostly the module syllabus or the module study guides are given during the first week of lectures, do not underestimate the importance of these. You might find that you will use them till the end of the year (most certainly,) some even contain the final exam structures. its good to get a hang of these as they play an important role during the year. The main points of contact are given during this week and instructions for which particular textbooks for the module to get. It is important to attend seminars as most of the content that you might not get to grips with is further explained during seminars.

tip 2: ASSIGNED READING. Yes like homework. this could be from case-law to statutes to lecture slides to chapters from the prescribed textbooks to answering legal questions in preparation for seminars. All of these are important as they serve as revision. Law is a subject that requires reading in addition, the modules are dense, I did Criminal law, Constitutional and Administrative law, Contract law and the English legal system. I took all of these subjects on weekly all year-long in their density, pre-reading is important otherwise the work will pile up towards revision time which may be difficult to handle. which leads me to tip 3

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tip 3: If you have not studied anything law related in sixth form or college, do not worry During induction week or after offers, the university may assign pre-reading in relation to your course in this case-law, before the term starts. It is important not to undermine this reading as it may make you feel alien during lectures as you may not know what the lecturer is talking about. Always stay up date or even ahead. which leads my fourth tip

tip 4: Contrary to the infamous belief and the speech you will probably be hearing from now till autumn if not till end of your first year! ”first year doesn’t count”. In Law, first year counts just like any other year studying law. It is important to get good grades and be involved in every positive way that you can as this will make an impact during applications for insight days, work experience and Vacation schemes and or mini pupilage applications during your summer going into second year. The journey to your legal  career begins the very first day you enrol as a law student!

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tip 5: Lastly, enjoy studying law, apart from the daunted looks you might get, and the scary law is difficult talk, as long as you keep up to date with reading and attending lectures, your first year should be enjoyable. Law is a very interesting, intellectually stimulating, subject. congratulations on embarking on your legal journey.

stay motivated !!

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