Notice And Comment: Tips For 1Ls?

Lawyers, what advice would you have given yourself as you started law school?

Welcome to Original Jurisdiction, the latest legal publication by me, David Lat. You can learn more about Original Jurisdiction by reading its About page, you can reach me by email at davidlat@substack.com, and you can register to receive updates on this signup page.

Apologies, but this will not be the best week ever in terms of content here at Original Jurisdiction. Our family is moving on Friday, and right now I’m consumed with packing, as well as feeling stressed out and overwhelmed. (Sorry if I owe you an email, phone call, or other form of communication; I’ve been paralyzed by anxiety for the past week or two, and I’ve fallen behind on everything.)

So I’m asking for your help in filling the content hole for this week. Although most of you are fairly far along in your legal careers — I’d say the median reader of Original Jurisdiction is ten to fifteen years out of law school, older than my audience back at Above the Law — some of you are incoming or aspiring law students. And looking ahead to the fall, a few of you have emailed me to ask for advice about law school.

In 2018, I contributed a chapter to a book entitled Beyond One L: Stories About Finding Meaning and Making a Difference in Law. I offered three tips for aspiring or incoming law students, based on my own experience as a first-year law student:

  1. Look before you leap: make an informed decision about going to law school — and don’t go directly from college to law school, if you can help it. (Alas, for some of you this advice might come too late.)

  2. Make friends as well as good grades.

  3. Calm down. (This last tip is much easier said than done, especially if you’re a neurotic person like me.)

If you’re interested, please feel free to read the full chapter, “Mistakes Were Made: Lessons Drawn from My One L Experience,” or buy the book, whose other contributors include distinguished lawyers, judges, and law professors.

To those of you who have graduated from law school, what advice would you have given yourself as you started your legal education? Please don’t be shy; the comments you post here will be greatly appreciated by current, incoming, or aspiring law students (as well as by me). Thanks!

P.S. For prior posts, I’ve allowed only paid subscribers to comment, but for this post, I welcome comments from everyone. Thanks again; I look forward to reading your tips!

Thanks for reading Original Jurisdiction, the latest legal publication by me, David Lat. You can learn more about Original Jurisdiction by reading its About page, you can reach me by email at davidlat@substack.com, and you can share this post or subscribe to Original Jurisdiction using the buttons below.

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