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psychloon

Things you wish you knew going into 1L?

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I'm not sure if this post exists already, so apologies if it does! I am just wondering if current UBC Law students could provide tips or a list of things you wish you knew going into 1L at Allard! 

I definitely have a tendency to overthink and worry, and I'm a little shy, so I would like to take all the advice I can get about starting law school here (and I'm sure others starting in September would too).

This can be anything from note taking, socializing, balancing work load, studying, or even general Vancouver things like commuting to school, best study spots etc. 

I am coming from doing my undergrad at UVic so I think the transition to the big city will be another factor I'll have to consider when starting school. 

 

Thank you all in advance! 

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I am a 1L in my second semester. The following is reflective of my experience, and may not be universal, so keep that in the back of your mind as you read:

1) Your classmates are, for the most part, really nice people. I have to come learn that I can always ask for help from almost anyone in my section (small group) and expect to have that help immediately. There is competition, but in my opinion it is healthy competition where people try to outdo rather than destroy each other. 

2) At the same time, a the majority of my classmates are neurotic overachievers. There is always this "thing" that is going on that may make you feel inadequate/behind others/worried/etc. It certainty affected me (because I'm neurotic too). For example, at the beginning of the year it's all about the number of hours everybody spent on this reading or that reading, closer to the exams it will be about who got their CANs finished first and who has done the most practice exams, after Christmas it has mostly been about people applying to ten jobs a week (or at least that's what it feels like). However, I am slowly learning to ignore that part of law school culture. I have been attempting to move away it and focus on what I care about and my own goals (and I have had some success). 

3) You get out of law school what you put into it. I am a strong believer that my law school experience has been significantly improved by the time I have invested in non-necessary, non-academic activities (including extracurriculars and firm events). The extra time that I spend at the law school has led to the development of stronger connections with the people here, and that, I think, is part of the reason why I don't feel nowhere near as stressed as I should be feeling (considering how much work I have to do and how much I procrastinate). 

4) Academically, I have one suggestion: LISTEN IN CLASS. I kept getting distracted by miscellaneous websites during class, and therefore never really engaging with the material during the semester. It was only during my pre-exams reviews that I realized how superficial my understanding of the material was and how much I had lost by not paying attention in class. Just for reference, I was doing all of the readings and going to all the classes. 

There are a lot of other stuff that I can say, but I'm hungry so this is where I'll end it. Feel free to PM me. 

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