Frontload the Bar Application and MPRE
I’ve dispensed advice to 1L’s previously here (although not my own, but that of three professors). I’d like to offer one more very important piece of advice to 1L’s, 2L’s, and future law students:
Frontload the non-academic responsibilities as much as you can. That is, when you have some obligation coming your way that you can put off until next year, resist the urge to wait and do it as early as possible. Get things out of the way quickly, despite not having the time. I’m talking in particular about applying for the Bar exam, and taking the MPRE. It’s better to get these things out of the way early.
Right now I am studying for the MPRE (which I will take Saturday), and I sincerely regret not taking it last summer or last semester. I also wish that I had begun registering for the Bar last year, because I began this semester completely preoccupied with filling out the initial application, which takes a long time and can be a lot of work (i.e. finding out the addresses of all your previous residences going back many years).
Of course the problem with law school is that you are always overwhelmed and under a lot of pressure, so it seems very reasonable to put things off until you can handle them. But if you expect there to be “more time” next year, it’s probably not going to happen. So grit your teeth and get things out of the way as they come. You’ll be thankful in the long run. Advice from someone who regrets, and who envies the people that planned ahead.
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I see the point of this advice, but in some ways I'd suggest the exact opposite: do as little as possible at the start. At my school, first year grades are the only thing that matter in getting a summer job your 2L year (which usually become your after school employment), so it makes sense to do nothing but work on classes all of 1L year. Then, 2L grades are what matter for clerkships, so it makes sense to (1) take fewer classes 2L year and (2) push other things off until 3L year when job searching and clerkships are over. Just a counterpoint...
Posted by: anon law student | Mar 10, 2006 7:58:03 AM
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