So I’ve just finished my first year of Law School here at Leicester, and it’s definitely been a rollercoaster at some points! Studying law at degree level can be quite exciting, but also a daunting and at times a draining experience. Now while I believe law school, or any degree for the matter can’t fully be prepared for as we will all undoubtedly have a wide range of experiences, there are definitely some things you can bring into good habit over summer in order to get to the grips of such an academic subject, but also to make the most of what is on offer throughout the year!
I can’t stress how important this is when balancing your studies, social life and any extracurricular activities you embark on. Even if you aren’t necessarily the most organised person out there, a planner and tidy desk goes a long way. Making a clear note of things like the required reading for the modules, any extracurricular activities such as societies or legal events that may be on throughout the week has really allowed me to make the most of what is on offer around the law school and make sure I’m covering everything required for the exams! It also helps in clearing your head by just getting it all written down! Of course you can use your phone or laptop if you prefer, but I personally find a physical planner more accessible!
One thing you’ll certainly notice at university is the increased amount of compulsory reading for each of your modules, which personally left me with minimal time to read books for pleasure. And so that is what I’d recommend doing over summer! Unlike some courses, there isn’t really any set prep to do before beginning law school, and so all the free time in summer gives you a great opportunity to read what you wish! It is also a good idea to read some books which give you an insight into studying law; I’d definitely recommend Letters to a Law Student by Nicholas J McBride – it’s very insightful for the prospective law student, and helps to break down key terminology, an insight as to how to write law essays, and is useful both prior to studying law and during the degree.
The university website has some further recommendations: https://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/law/undergraduate/new-students/preparing-to-study-law-at-university
Keep up on current affairs!
‘Commercial awareness’ is a term you’ll soon hear in law school if you haven’t already and is something which commercial law firms especially are on the look out for and may indeed test you on in interviews. Law firms are essentially businesses and so must provide clients with advice on issues which are often dictated by political, social and economic spheres which requires a solid understanding of them. Therefore, it is a great idea to start early and keep on top of current world affairs through a range of perspectives. There are loads of opportunities on social media and news outlets to follow good sources of information such as the Economist, the Financial Times, as well as legal specific content such as the Legal Week.
But perhaps most importantly – relax! Enjoy your summer and come to university and your course with an open and intrigued mind ?
I hope this was helpful in some way; let me know in the comments if you have any further questions!