Five Things I’m Doing Now to Prepare for 1L Year

Five Things I’m Doing Now to Prepare for 1L YearThis week we welcome guest writer and incoming 1L Julia Gourary to discuss how she’s preparing to start law school soon.

As you prepare to start law school, everyone will give you different advice on how to spend your pre-1L summer, from going on a relaxing vacation and not thinking about school at all to taking a weeks long prep course and doing lots of advance reading. It’s hard to know what the “right” way to prepare for 1L year is, but the truth is that there is no one one-size-fits-all approach.

After listening to advice from current and past law students, I’ve decided the best way for me personally to spend these months is a mix of the fun and the practical. Read on to find out what I’m doing now to prepare for 1L year.

1. Reading for pleasure

Any law student can tell you that you will be doing a lot of reading during law school, and that it tends to be on the dense side. While I’m excited to tackle the challenge of combing through cases, I anticipate that, with all the reading I’ll be doing in school, I might not have as much time or energy to read for pleasure. I’ve always been a big reader, so, while I have more downtime, I’ve been working through my to-read list. Although I’m mostly reading books that have nothing to do with the law, if you’re looking for reading that might be more applicable to law school, check out this 1L reading list or this post on suggested reading to help you feel more academically and mentally prepared for law school.

2. Figuring out my housing situation

It’s important to me to have a place to live and be fully settled in before law school begins. I’ve been told that 1L fall semester can be a bit of a bumpy ride, so I want to make sure I can focus entirely on adjusting to school, not hauling moving boxes and putting together furniture. Not only that, but having a little time to settle in before school starts means that I’ll be able to get to know the neighborhood I’ll be living in for the next three years, from the best coffee shops to where to buy groceries.

3. Spending time with friends and family

I’m lucky to have a strong support network of friends and family in the area where I’ll be attending law school, so renewing and cultivating those relationships has been a priority for me this summer. As this post discusses, it can be helpful to make some fun memories now that you can look back on fondly from the trenches of law school. There are tons of fun events happening during the summer, from outdoor concerts and movies to parades and festivals, so I’m grabbing a couple friends and making some memories I hopefully won’t soon forget!

4. Learning how to cook for myself

Although I lived on my own in college, I’ve never been completely responsible for shopping and cooking for myself. My previous repertoire was pretty much limited to pasta, scrambled eggs, and toast. The learning curve has been a bit steep, but this summer I’ve been having fun trying out new recipes, ingredients, and cooking techniques. That way, when I start school and have less time, I’ll have some go-to tried-and-true recipes in my back pocket that I know are easy, delicious, and nutritious. I’ve also been figuring out how to grocery shop and meal-plan and prep in order to be as efficient as possible and limit food waste, which can be difficult when cooking for one.

5. Working part-time to make some extra money

Law school is expensive, between tuition, living costs, and other expenses like casebooks and school supplies. Most people I’ve talked to have advised not working during 1L, as it tends to be the most intense year as well as being very important grade-wise. So while I have some time on my hands now, I’m working part-time as an LSAT tutor. That way, I’ll have some spending money saved up when I start 1L. I’ve found that working part-time on a flexible schedule allows me to make some extra money without too much stress, and while still having enough time to do all of the above.

I hope reading about what I’m doing now to prepare for 1L helped give you some ideas for how to spend your 0L summer. However, it’s important to take into account your own needs and priorities when deciding what uses of your time will best serve you and get you in the right headspace to start law school.

Looking for more ideas on how to prepare to for law school? Check out these helpful posts:


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About Julia Gourary

Julia is a 2L at NYU School of Law. She received her B.A. in Art History from Yale University, where she graduated magna cum laude in December 2021. In addition to writing for Law School Toolbox, she currently works as an LSAT tutor. In her spare time, she enjoys reading novels, doing yoga, and binge-watching reality TV.

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