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Naomnaok

What to do in the summer before the start of Law School?

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Hi! I’m here to seek some practical advice from people who’s been through the process :)

So I’ve fortunately been accepted to the school I wanted to go to, and it looks like I can start the first year of law school come September. But now that I have a school to go to, I am wondering what I should do in the upcoming summer to put myself in a position to succeed in the coming years. Should I do internships if I can? Should I learn Microsoft Office softwares? Or should I do something else? I’m hoping to hear your advice:)

(I don’t know what area of law I want to practice yet—I am lowkey having a full-on identity crisis because of this. But that’s a whole other topic on its own lol)

Edited by Naomnaok
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I (and many others I have received advice from) would advise you to take it easy this summer. Go for hikes, read some novels, travel (maybe not this one unfortunately). Save up some money if you can. It’ll be a grind once you get into it, and there’s not much you can do from outside that will greatly benefit you in any substantial way. May as well take it easy while you can. Congratulations on the acceptance!

 

(just looked at your post history and saw you were in at Allard. Congratulations! I’m a 1L there now and have had a great experience so far.)

Edited by PlatoandSocrates
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7 minutes ago, PlatoandSocrates said:

I’m a 1L there now and have had a great experience so far.

Hey! I got into allard too!! so excited to start, but what is 1L like this year, covid edition? Are classes fully online or is it hybrid in some form? We can take this to dm if this is too off-topic on this discussion thread!

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7 minutes ago, buchanantower said:

Hey! I got into allard too!! so excited to start, but what is 1L like this year, covid edition? Are classes fully online or is it hybrid in some form? We can take this to dm if this is too off-topic on this discussion thread!

I’ll reply here, if OP doesn’t know I’m sure they’d like to hear as well. 
 

classes for 1L’s have been optionally hybrid. The entire class of 200ish is always divided into groups of about 50, and this year they were further divided into 3 subgroups; A, B, and C. Those groups have been able to go in on a rotational basis, once every three weeks. I haven’t gone in myself, but people seem to enjoy being able to experience some degree of normalcy. With vaccines rolling out soon maybe you guys will get to get right back to normal, who knows?

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32 minutes ago, PlatoandSocrates said:

I (and many others I have received advice from) would advise you to take it easy this summer. Go for hikes, read some novels, travel (maybe not this one unfortunately). Save up some money if you can. It’ll be a grind once you get into it, and there’s not much you can do from outside that will greatly benefit you in any substantial way. May as well take it easy while you can. Congratulations on the acceptance!

 

(just looked at your post history and saw you were in at Allard. Congratulations! I’m a 1L there now and have had a great experience so far.)

In addition to this good advice, I'll also add that if the covid situation gets better and you are in Vancouver during the summer, try to get together with your classmates!  I met my closest 1L friends during the summer/early September this way.  I've noticed that some of the 1Ls who didn't even try to meet anyone in person or online before school don't exactly have a lot of friends (if any) right now, so you'd probably want to avoid doing this (especially during exams season now, you would want friends as your support network and to share CANs and study with).  Whether you make an effort to meet in person or even online still counts!

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1 hour ago, PlatoandSocrates said:

I (and many others I have received advice from) would advise you to take it easy this summer. Go for hikes, read some novels, travel (maybe not this one unfortunately). Save up some money if you can. It’ll be a grind once you get into it, and there’s not much you can do from outside that will greatly benefit you in any substantial way. May as well take it easy while you can. Congratulations on the acceptance!

 

(just looked at your post history and saw you were in at Allard. Congratulations! I’m a 1L there now and have had a great experience so far.)

Thanks you for the advice!!:) it’s good to know that it not bad to take it easy this summer—I have a tendency to feel like there’s always something to do lol

(also being a Phil major I like your handle name a lot lol)

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52 minutes ago, meandtheboys said:

In addition to this good advice, I'll also add that if the covid situation gets better and you are in Vancouver during the summer, try to get together with your classmates!  I met my closest 1L friends during the summer/early September this way.  I've noticed that some of the 1Ls who didn't even try to meet anyone in person or online before school don't exactly have a lot of friends (if any) right now, so you'd probably want to avoid doing this (especially during exams season now, you would want friends as your support network and to share CANs and study with).  Whether you make an effort to meet in person or even online still counts!

Thank you for the advice!! That’s is definitely not something that I would’ve come up on my own (I’m not the most extroverted person lol), so it’s greatly appreciated:)

I hope COVID is a little better by then:(

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I might be a bit too optimistic and maybe even jinx our chances, but with vaccines rolling out, I'm hopeful that when september comes, things might be a bit better and we can at least return to a higher degree of in-person, like every other week or something!

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6 hours ago, buchanantower said:

I might be a bit too optimistic and maybe even jinx our chances, but with vaccines rolling out, I'm hopeful that when september comes, things might be a bit better and we can at least return to a higher degree of in-person, like every other week or something!

This is what I'm hoping too! Who knows, maybe the vaccines will make it so that we are finally able to go back fully in-person. They're rolling out earlier than I thought they would. I'm sure the schools want to open up as soon as possible when it's safe. *Knock on wood!*

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This is an interesting topic. The general consensus from what I’ve seen on this forum is that you should just relax. People here are more inclined to think that there’s nothing you can do to prepare prior to 1L.

Meanwhile, 7sage is building an entire new facet of their company around 0L prep, with introductory courses on legal topics covered in 1L like torts and contracts. 

Of course we cannot use this platform because it’s geared towards American students, but it makes me wonder whether they think it’s actually beneficial or whether it’s just profit driven. 
 

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out over there. 

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I seriously advocate for taking a modest, less stressful approach to pre-1L summer. You're going to be concerned about saving money, for sure, which means you'll likely be working, but invest the time it takes into maintaining your relationships. These people are going to be your support network throughout law school. 

Don't waste your time trying to read legal literature or case law. Seriously. I can all but guarantee that it won't help you. 

If I could do it again, I'd start a physical hobby (e.g., hiking, bouldering, cycling). Something to keep up during school, that gets your outside and moving. I wouldn't work full-time and finish off multiple undergrad courses * cough cough *. 

Oh! And enjoy your sanity and naive optimism, it won't last forever ;)

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1 hour ago, Seekingredemption said:

This is an interesting topic. The general consensus from what I’ve seen on this forum is that you should just relax. People here are more inclined to think that there’s nothing you can do to prepare prior to 1L.

Meanwhile, 7sage is building an entire new facet of their company around 0L prep, with introductory courses on legal topics covered in 1L like torts and contracts. 

Of course we cannot use this platform because it’s geared towards American students, but it makes me wonder whether they think it’s actually beneficial or whether it’s just profit driven. 
 

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out over there. 

I won’t proclaim to have achieved a completely mastery in torts (which will be made clear by the exam I have in an hour), but I really doubt that some half assed summer prep would’ve helped... Maybe  reading the Wikipedia entries for ‘Torts’ and ‘Contract Law’ would give people an idea of what they’re in for (in the broadest possible sense), and that’s free!

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18 minutes ago, PlatoandSocrates said:

I won’t proclaim to have achieved a completely mastery in torts (which will be made clear by the exam I have in an hour), but I really doubt that some half assed summer prep would’ve helped... Maybe  reading the Wikipedia entries for ‘Torts’ and ‘Contract Law’ would give people an idea of what they’re in for (in the broadest possible sense), and that’s free!

You could very well be right!
 

It could depend how much effort someone puts into it though, it need not necessarily be half assed.

Anyhow, I’ll be really interested to hear what those who use it have to say after 1L.

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Honestly, don't do anything! Just enjoy your summer. Work and save money, if you can (law school is kind of expensive). But my biggest advice is to relax...you won't be doing too much of that once you start law school. 

Anecdotally, in my summer before law school, I think I worked 3 jobs. I was utterly exhausted when law school orientation came around. I was dragging myself into classes and didn't enjoy the first few weeks of law school until I found my rhythm. And even once I found my rhythm, your summers during law school will come with their own stress of finding a job. 

So, if I could go back in time, I would tell my past self to relax and enjoy as much of the summer doing what you like as you can. 

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I fully echo what everyone else has been saying about taking pre-1L summer easy. You'll be busy come September - take this time to relax, save some money, do what you love to do. I would really advise you not to try and read cases or law books or anything substantive - you don't know how to learn the law yet, and more than likely it'll stress you out when you try to make sense of it on your own and struggle with it. There are some books people recommend to incoming 1Ls every year (I'm sure you can find recommendations in old threads on this site) but don't try to do anything substantive.

The only thing I would recommend you do (in a few months, maybe in August) is prepare your resume and some cover letters. In the first few weeks of September there will be a lot of application deadlines for clinics, law journals, clubs, etc. Those first few weeks are super busy and if you have at least most of an application package that you can tweak it'll save you a lot of stress. But you absolutely do not have to worry about this now.

11 hours ago, Naomnaok said:

(I don’t know what area of law I want to practice yet—I am lowkey having a full-on identity crisis because of this. But that’s a whole other topic on its own lol)

In regards to this point - don't worry about not knowing what type of law you want to do. Most people do not know exactly what they want to practice when they enter law school, and those who know more often than not end up practicing in a different area. I'm in 2L now and I have about five different practice areas I'm interested in now. Even once you're applying for jobs, many firms will not expect you to have one single area of law you're determined to work in (with the exception of boutiques). Most importantly, you're still at the very very beginning of your career. You barely know anything about the law yet, it would be ridiculous to expect you to know what exact practice you want to be in. Keeping your mind open and trying different courses and ECs that allow you to explore a variety of practice areas might lead you to find something that clicks. Even once you're working, lots of people at full-service firms don't lock themselves into one practice until they finish articling. You have lots of time, and there's no pressure for you to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life right now.

And congrats! This is such an exciting time. Celebrate and enjoy the comfort of knowing you're in and on your way to becoming a lawyer.

Edited by lewcifer
rephrased for clarity
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3 hours ago, Seekingredemption said:

You could very well be right!
 

It could depend how much effort someone puts into it though, it need not necessarily be half assed.

Anyhow, I’ll be really interested to hear what those who use it have to say after 1L.

I suppose it wouldn’t have to be, but I struggle to see the value in a summer torts prep, even if it’s fairly competent. They won’t throw you in the deep end when you start 1L. They know that nobody knows what torts are or how they work. You’ll get a perfectly competent picture, it is a twice weekly full year course after all! 
 

So, while it might be helpful, I wouldn’t imagine it could be helpful enough to waste your summer on. I spent my 0L summer reading novels, making some side cash, and hanging out with some pals (in the limited ways that were allowed at the time). I haven’t been able to do those things as much since the semesters started, but I’ve spent plenty of time on torts. I know it’s exciting to start, and the desire to get ahead is there for everyone, but I’d try not to lose the forest for the trees and understand that there’s more to life than a mild edge (if any at all) in torts class. 
 

But of course, to each their own. If someone will enjoy prepping for torts and contracts in the summer who am I to say that that’s not a fine way to spend it? 

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I feel it's appropriate to chime in again on the topic of "taking it easy". There's an important balance here and an attitudinal slippery slope in kicking your feet fully up before law school.

Speaking from personal experience, I don't do well with staying idle. I require social and intellectual stimulation to stay engaged (and "sharp"). The thought of reverting back to my high school days of playing video games for hours on end makes me shudder, not because I dislike games but because I derive a great deal of satisfaction from the above-mentioned. 

You know that feeling after you return from winter break, where you have to clear the cobwebs from your mind and snap back into school mode? You don't have this luxury in 1L, or anyL. You hit the ground running and syllabus week is mostly non-existent. 

In my previous post, I suggested picking up a new hobby. Not only will it give you something to look forward to outside law school, it'll help keep you a bit sharper than you would if you just spend the summer slamming Twisted Teas at your buddy's cottage. 

Have fun, take it easy, but be ready to go with virtually no "easing in". 

Edited by Phaedrus
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1 hour ago, PlatoandSocrates said:

I suppose it wouldn’t have to be, but I struggle to see the value in a summer torts prep, even if it’s fairly competent. They won’t throw you in the deep end when you start 1L. They know that nobody knows what torts are or how they work. You’ll get a perfectly competent picture, it is a twice weekly full year course after all!

I agree with this. Trying to get ahead in the summer using commercial study materials could do more harm than good. Each law school in Canada (and at UBC, each small group) teaches the course slightly differently and you might end up confused when you start 1L or stuck in an incorrect way of thinking. You might also start law school tired/stressed/burnt out. I relied on 7Sage when I studied for the LSAT and they were excellent for that, but they are a business and profit-making is within their interests. I'm not saying pre-1L prep is entirely a profit-making thing (though for some companies it probably is), and maybe it's an American thing to do this, but it's not a good idea for Canadian law students.

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16 minutes ago, Phaedrus said:

I feel it's appropriate to chime in again on the topic of "taking it easy". There's an important balance here and an attitudinal slippery slope in kicking your feet fully up before law school.

Speaking from personal experience, I don't do well with staying idle. I require social and intellectual stimulation to stay engaged (and "sharp"). The thought of reverting back to my high school days of playing video games for hours on end makes me shudder, not because I dislike games but because I derive a great deal of satisfaction from the above-mentioned. 

You know that feeling after you return from winter break, where you have to clear the cobwebs from your mind and snap back into school mode? You don't have this luxury in 1L, or anyL. You hit the ground running and syllabus week is mostly non-existent. 

In my previous post, I suggested picking up a new hobby. Not only will it give you something to look forward to outside law school, it'll help keep you a bit sharper than you would if you just spend the summer slamming Twisted Teas at your buddy's cottage. 

Have fun, take it easy, but be ready to go with virtually no "easing in". 

I agree with this, it’s a balancing act. I wouldn’t imagine that getting stoned and playing League all summer would’ve made for a very fun transition in September. My first undergrad semester after my summer in SEA certainly had a slow start... I spent a lot of this summer walking and reading (books that were not or were very loosely related to law). I found that that kept me active enough to transition relatively easily back into course work, but didn’t burn me out. 

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11 minutes ago, Psychometronic said:

I agree with this. Trying to get ahead in the summer using commercial study materials could do more harm than good. Each law school in Canada (and at UBC, each small group) teaches the course slightly differently and you might end up confused when you start 1L or stuck in an incorrect way of thinking. You might also start law school tired/stressed/burnt out. I relied on 7Sage when I studied for the LSAT and they were excellent for that, but they are a business and profit-making is within their interests. I'm not saying pre-1L prep is entirely a profit-making thing (though for some companies it probably is), and maybe it's an American thing to do this, but it's not a good idea for Canadian law students.

I was surprised at how different some of the mid terms in the exam bank were from one another. Which instructor you have definitely matters to how you prepare, making summer prep a bit of a moot point. 

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