New Year’s Resolutions Every Law Student Should Adopt

GUEST BLOG Makenzie Way, 2L at the University of Pennsylvania Law School 

It may be February but it’s never too late to make New Year’s Resolutions! While money management, clean eating, and gym memberships are common resolutions amongst the masses, I’m more concerned about resolutions specific to the law student.

1. Adhere to the Professional 24/Hour Response Timeline for all Forms of Communication. 

As law students we get busy, as a result we let emails build up and place our relationships on the back burner. During peak times it’s all too easy to forget to respond in a timely manner, or at all. Make one of your New Year’s Resolutions be adhering to 24/hour response time. It will make you seem more responsible and professional to professors, firms and attorneys. Likewise, your friends and family will still appreciate a timely response. 

2. Set a Time Limit for Your Weekly Netflix Viewing. 

We’ve all been there. You start a new Netflix series. You click play while telling yourself it’s only going to take 40 minutes out of your day. Then, three hours later you’re three episodes deep into your Netflix binge session. Setting maximum viewing times for the week makes you think twice about clicking play repeatedly. 

New Year's Resolutions

3. View Every Opportunity as a Networking Opportunity. 

As 1L’s networking opportunities were handed to us leading up to on campus interviewing. As 2L’s there are less formal networking opportunities, but that doesn’t mean you should stop networking all together. Every interaction that you have with a firm, attorney, or judge is a networking opportunity that you should be taking advantage of. 

4. Begin Improving Your Wardrobe

In a few months we’ll be entering the legal world again as summer associates, many of us in private law firms. In one year’s time we’ll be first year associates or fellows. It’s time to supplement our jeans and legging filled wardrobes with classy suits, dress shirts, and at least one pair of dress shoes. 

5. Be Aware of Your Social Media Image

You may have a summer job under your belt but don’t forget that partners, competing firms, bar associations, and prospective clients are all on social media. You don’t want your social media past coming to bite you later on in your professional career. Start thinking now about removing old posts, making your accounts private, and being mindful of what you post and/or allow yourself to be tagged in from hereon. 

Did you make New Year’s Resolutions or will you be making some? Share them with me and other law school students on Instagram or Twitter: @The2Llife