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1Ls - Suggestions for your 1L Year & Beyond

August 11, 2014

Class of 2018:

Law school officially began on August 14, 2015 with Orientation. You’ll blink and law school will be over! You don’t believe it now, but it’s true! Given this, the most important things you can do are take advantage of as many opportunities as possible and do whatever you take on at 100%.

Here are a few specific words of advice we offered at Law School Orientation during the Career & Professional Development Center session, as well as  some additional resources:

1 – Focus on learning the fundamentals

Attend classes, keep up on reading and outlining, talk to your professors

2 – Develop strong writing skills

Take L.A.W. seriously – writing is one of the most key skills an attorney must develop

3 – Be engaged:  on- and off-campus

On-Campus:  Get to know the CPDC advisors, attend CPDC programs, get involved in student groups/activities that really interest you; meet with your Faculty Advisor

Off-Campus:  Through the school’s Mentor Program, request a formal mentor and meet/communicate with them regularly; develop informal mentors, join a bar section or specialty bar association, attend legal community events/activities

Article to Read:  The Informal Mentor by David Boyer ’12

Plan to Attend:  Mentor Program Kick-off Reception - September 9, 2015 @ 5:30 pm (Law School Student Lounge)

Plan to Attend:  CPDC Bar Prowl (an opportunity to meet representatives from OSB sections and specialty bar associations) - September 30, 2015 @ 4:30 pm (Law School Student Lounge)

4 – Build practical/professional experience

Through externships (for credit), internship seminars (for credit), volunteering, clinics (for credit), and paid clerking positions

Read: the CPDC Handbook

Plant to Attend:  Volunteer Fair - September 24 @ 12:00 pm (Law School Student Lounge)

5 – Network thoughtfully

Set goals and, if need be, step outside your comfort zone.  More than 60% of students and graduates get their jobs through professional contacts they develop

Articles to read:  Networking – “The Dreaded Word” and “40 Ways to Make Networking Work”

Read:  CPDC’s “Essentials of Networking” Handbook

Check out this site:  Legal Networking 101 (

6 – Think forward

Undertake at least one professional development or career-related thing per week; continue to refine your career goals; make choices that will help you for where you want to be by the end of law school, after one year in your career, etc.

7 – Develop professional habits

Follow through on your commitments/don’t over-commit; set up a calendaring system that works for you; craft a careful on-line presence (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)

Article to read:  On-line Reputation Management

8 – Develop resilience

It is the rare law student who gets every job s/he applies to and who receives the grades they anticipate.  Regardless, the most important thing is to persevere and do your very best.

Check out this site:  Do You Have the Right Mindset for Your Legal Career? (

9 – Set aside time for yourself, your family, things you love

Law school can overwhelm you, your life, and your family.  Be sure to set aside time for you, your friends, and your family.

10 – Don’t hesitate to ask for help, advice, friendship

Everyone at the school is committed to helping you have a successful law school experience – and beyond.  Take advantage of the resources available to you.

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