- John Richardson – University of Toronto
Hello, my name is John Richardson. Chances are that you arrived at this blog because you attended one of my sessions at a career centre. This blog was created to provide you with links to various Pre-Law sites that I reference. I have worked with pre-law students for many years. I am also the author of:
Law School Bound
Mastering The LSAT . Continue reading →
Halfway through my first term of 1L I feel like I am just starting to get a hang of things. All of the fears and concerns I had coming into school have mostly evaporated, and the ones that remain seem much more manageable. Coming into 1L I had heard all of the rumours that everyone wears suits to class, has an incredibly type-A personality, and that nobody shares notes. Not true. (Mostly.) Really, it seems to be much more like undergrad than I expected. Almost everybody wears jeans to class, nobody seems hyper competitive (yet), and everybody shares notes. Several times I’ve had people I don’t even know walk up to me in the halls and ask me to email them my notes- that just seems to be the culture around here.
Another misconception is that everybody works incredibly hard once they get to law school. It is true that the workload is as crushing as everyone says it is, but as a general rule it seems like everyone has just kept the same study habits they had in undergrad (however long ago that may have been.) Lots of my friends have gotten caught out because they vowed to start better study habits once they hit law school and then just fell back into their old ways. I don’t know that I can offer any advice there except not to let yourself get bogged down by all the reading. People say it’s impossible to keep up with all the readings, so why bother trying. That is definitely not true. It is possible. It’s just really hard. Still, it seems much easier to do all the readings as you go and be able to keep up with the lectures then trying to cram in weeks of backlogged reading at exam time.
That’s really all I have so far- things are busy and hectic, but nowhere near as bad as people imagine them to be. The main problem that I’m running into now is that it’s getting hard to see the forest for the trees. We read so many cases that it’s hard to see how they all fit together to form a general idea of tort law or contract law. Upper years have suggested reading treatises and old exams, but one of the difficulties in keeping up with readings is that it doesn’t leave a lot of time for reading other non-essential things. I’m hoping that it all comes together sometime before exams in December…
January term was three weeks and went by really fast! Now I’m enjoying the only “reading week” we get this year. Our three week exploration of Alternative Dispute Resolution was interesting. We are the only school in Canada that offers it at the moment. I enjoyed the hands on nature of the activities. We got to partake in a client interview, learned negotiation skills, worked on an arbitration and mediation. It was great how everyone got into it and how even in hypothetical situations you learn a lot about yourself.
I’m waiting for our Winter term thematic course selection to come out to find out which one I got. They all look really great so I’m not worried about not getting my first choice.
We’re back! We’re already a week into January Term, which is when us first years do an Alternative Dispute Resolution course only. It’s a nice break from having a full course load. We had 10 days off for the holidays after exams. Exams were really great to put the whole semester into perspective. Experiencing those two or three hour marathons helps one to understand what you are really supposed to take from readings and lectures. I am looking forward to going back to regular classes in February with that understanding. For now we’re doing a lot of experiential learning through group activities in class as well as some assignments.