Ah… Law school.
What a place to be!
I remember being there even though it was quite some time ago. Fond memories.
Plenty of work, yes, but still time to have fun. We wanted to compile a list of things we wish we managed better while at law school.
I spoke to the solicitors around the office this morning to get a feel for how the experience was for them and the general consensus advice we can pass on to any of the young budding lawyers that read the blog.
Being a caring medical negligence solicitor in Manchester means a lot to us now. If you want to become a lawyer, trust us, it is fulfilling like you think it will be.
Anyway, the better you can act, behave and manage your time while there will mean a better overall experience.
We certainly made mistakes and could have had a better time, indefinitely.
So, we have compiled a little list below of things we should have done better. It is much easier to recognise it now having been in the working world.
There is far more responsibility now that we are lawyers dealing with legitimate cases to try and serve justice.
When someone has been seriously harmed in some sort of clinical or medical case – you feel like you have something worth fighting for. Finally, you are involved in law rather than just studying the topic and learning about it.
We went straight from college to studying law. You sort of have to smoothen into the change as you go from college, where not much matters, to suddenly paying a lot of money for a course that you NEED to pass in order to become a lawyer.
The stakes have risen and you need to raise your game as a result. Clearly our team all got through it despite all of us admitting that we could have done things better.
So, let’s look at what you can do to make this experience better in every way!
By the way, Target Careers have written a good post about how to get into law if you are not quite there yet. Remember that there are always ways you can persevere and get through into law school and become a negligence solicitor if that is what you want to do.
We were never going to start with party more, were we?
That might come later… Anyway, now is the time to be truly organised.
Organisation is going to help you in every way now. From organising your room, your bag, your schedule, your notes and so on – this will help to organise your mind too.
If your life is in disarray, your room is a tip, you don’t know what is in your bag, you don’t know what you are doing this week and so on, your mind is going to be in disarray too.
Being organised is time consuming, or so it seems, but it actually saves you a lot of time.
Not being organised costs you time.
You’re having to retrace footsteps, re-understand things, you miss things and generally are more susceptible to making mistakes.
So be organised, stay on top of everything from early so it doesn’t become overwhelming.
There is a reason that the army are disciplined, clean and organised even if at war.
It helps morale, it keeps everyone focussed on the goal at hand (getting this law degree!) and helps to reduce distractions around you.
You will never regret being organised as long as you do not use it to procrastinate.
Still not partying yet unfortunately…
Efficiency is what will set you apart from the rest.
If you can combine organisation with efficiency, you will be a deadly force on your path in becoming a lawyer.
Not to mention when you actually become a lawyer.
What we mean is: take your now organised life and be efficient with it. You have your whole week planned out for your lectures and seminars.
Where can you slip in a few extra hours on campus to free up more time while off campus?
Now you can do more extra curricular activities in the evening, which will boost your mood/happiness etc..
The unorganised person does not know what is going on with their life, so they miss out on chances to be efficient with their time.
Sure, there are the outliers that are excellent at ‘rolling with the times’ and taking each day as it comes, but they have to be driven and motivated to make it work.
The less you are organising your time with passing your degree in mind, the more likely it is that other outside and irrelevant distractions will start to fill up your work schedule.
Back to efficiency.
The most efficient person is the person that makes the most of every hour, minute and second in the day.
They get the most out of every day and you should strive for this. That doesn’t mean never take a break, but take them tactically and for a purpose.
It is easy to slip down the slope of unproductiveness so be organised with your time and then be efficient with it.
You have half an hour between a lecture?
What can you get done to save you time trying to get back into it later tonight?! Work within your limits, be realistic and be efficient with your time.
Further to the above, be consistent.
You are going to ‘fall off’ occasionally and probably have cheat hours (or maybe even days), but know that you have to be consistent. This is not a diet, this is a lifestyle.
Many people start the year off strong but by month 4 (of their 4+ year degree!) they are already slipping.
The further and further you slip, the harder it is to regain traction.
So one of the best things you can do is to be consistent with your organisation and efficiency.
It would be more important to be consistent over a year than efficient in every single minute. However, efficiency is important too.
Consistent work will also give you confidence throughout the year.
Anyone not studying will have that anxious feeling where they know they should be working but they keep just putting it to the back of their mind.
This is not helping them in anyway. The exam is coming. There is no avoiding it.
You can either face it head on, build confidence, gain knowledge over the subject and really benefit yourself or you can cram a few weeks before the exams and essays are due.
It is very clear which is the better choice! Consistency!
Exercise, Diet and Sleep
Now that Mum and Dad are no longer cooking you vegetables and you aren’t waking anyone up when you come in at 5am – don’t abuse this new found luxury.
Sure, enjoy your life as a law student, perhaps even indulge in it, but be very aware of what is going on at all times.
Again, don’t let yourself slip so far down the slope that it is hard to recover. It is easier to stay slim than it is to lose 30kg.
It is easier to keep exercising than it is to start exercising.
Looking after your health will help you to stay consistent, organised and efficient.
Three vital elements that will play a part in your success. Have the odd night out but get your sleeping pattern back on track.
Have the odd repulsively carb-based meal, but eat an apple the next day.
Make sure to keep exercising too.
No one ever feels worse after pleasant exercise.
You are at university to become a lawyer. However, there are loads of young people who have their own dorms and loads of local clubs.
You should make the most of it while you can.
For us, a couple of nights out a month was enough.
It’s not overkill, it’s something to look forward to and you can keep your momentum, organisation, health, consistency and efficiency in check.
If you go out every single night you can probably kiss being a lawyer goodbye! So get the balance right.
Remember the above points which are going to carry you through this experience and filter in some drinking, partying and fun where necessary.