By Marissa Louro
If there is one tip I could give to incoming 1Ls, it is to find a 2L at the top of his or her class, and mimic that person’s study habits. While there is no one formula to succeeding in law school, I found that those who had a successful 1L year used similar game plans.
During my first week of classes, I noticed this one student who was always in the library. She was always prepared and her professors knew her by first name. Out of curiosity, I approached her and explained how I could already tell that the study process of law school was very different than college. She reassured me that this was a correct statement, and proceeded to tell me all about her study habits—starting with explaining case briefs. Seeing one of her case briefs helped me make sure that I was actively reading the cases to prepare for class, i.e., taking notes in the margins, highlighting and making my own briefs.
From then on, I regularly made it a point to meet with her to make sure that I was on track. It was also reassuring that she shared my feelings during certain parts of the semester, e.g., she was also overwhelmed and confused about the so-called process of starting your outlines during her first year. Thus, she sent me outlines that worked for her, so I could create my own and make sure that I was learning effectively.
Luckily, I survived my first semester of law school. I attribute much of this to mimicking this student’s study schedule. She showed me first hand that, in law school, hard work is followed by academic success.
Marissa Louro, JD ’16, works in the Compliance Department at Merganser Capital Management. During her time at Suffolk Law, she worked as a law clerk at Wynn & Wynn in Raynham, Mass., and with the in-house counsel at Ocean Spray’s headquarters.