GUEST BLOG by Jackson Long,
1L at SMU Dedman School of Law
Only one month left fellow 1Ls!
And my goodness, I cannot wait for summer. This has been one of, if not the most grueling nine-month stretches of my life. I will be elated to turn in my final exam on May 10.
Until then, of course, we have more responsibilities. There’s outlining, our oral advocacy competition associated with our writing class, and now, fall enrollment!
Many of my upper-class mentors have stressed the importance of staying on top of your scheduling for the last two years. Being confined to the same courses for the entire 1L year may have lulled you to sleep, but now is the time to make sure you have a vision to finish school.
The first important break is leaning towards either litigation or transactional law. Depending on your preference, and the strength of your preference, you should begin allocating credit hours to skew towards that particular area.
It’s also important to be very aware of required courses, general hours limits and what extra-curricular activities will earn you credit hours and which ones will eat heavily into your free time.
I started my search by preparing a list of all the courses offered over the past academic year, and which semesters they would be offered in.
This allowed me to see where certain classes would will requirements and how many credit hours each class was.
Fortunately, I will be earning externship credit and five hours from studying abroad this summer, so my required total for graduation slips even lower!
Next, I asked around for advice on when to take certain classes and with which professor to take them with. This is a pretty huge step! Find a trusted source (or five) to seek advice on the best route for class selection.
After I had narrowed down my courses, I moved to setting them on a weekly schedule. This allowed me to see what conflicts would arise (including final exam dates!) as well as show a picture of what my daily routine will be like next fall.
As you can see (kind of, it’s a little sloppy admittedly), I’ve front loaded my schedule and potentially have Tuesday and Thursday completely free! This will allow me to work and interview on certain days. I may even be willing to skip a Friday class to create a SUPER long weekend.