Halfway through first term

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…