If you’re getting ready to start law school at OCU in the Fall, welcome! We hope you’re looking forward to joining the OCU School of Law community and starting your legal career. As a newly admitted student, you’re likely eager to learn what you can do right now to start preparing yourself for the rigors of law school. Here are a few steps you can take this summer to help you feel prepared and confident on the first day of class:
- Get in the habit of reading. It’s no secret that you will have to complete a lot of dense reading assignments during law school. The summer is a great time to get yourself in the habit of reading and to work on your reading speed. Read anything that interests you and challenges you intellectually, whether it be classic novels or well-written periodicals.
- Familiarize yourself with the legal system. If your knowledge of how our legal system operates is a little rusty, now is the time to get it tuned up! Having a basic understanding of the legal system will put the cases you read into context and give you a better appreciation of the legal principles that you’ll be studying. Do you know the difference between the federal court system and the state court system? Do you know the hierarchy of the various courts? What does it mean when a case is on appeal? What circuit court does Oklahoma sit in? How does a typical lawsuit proceed through the court system? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, do a little research and get yourself up to speed.
- Brush up on your grammar. Law students (and lawyers for that matter) must be able to communicate effectively in writing. You’re going to learn a lot more about legal writing throughout the course of your law school career, but it’s important to start with a firm grasp on the basics. The summer before law school is the perfect time to review the rules of grammar and bush up on basic writing techniques. If you’re looking for a resource to help you brush up on your grammar this summer, check out https://www.coregrammarforlawyers.com/ .
- Follow current events. Having a fund of general knowledge and an understanding of the issues impacting our world will not only enrich your life, but it will also bring added meaning to many of the concepts you’re studying. Read trusted news periodicals and stay up to date on what’s going on in your city, state, country, and world.
- Take care of the logistical details. Block out some time during the summer to take care of the logistical details that come with starting law school. Make sure your laptop is up to date, purchase school supplies, visit the law school, arrange child care, etc. Take care of these chores as early as possible during the summer so that you won’t have to deal with them when you’re trying to complete your first week of assignments.
- Think about your goals. Having concrete goals when you start law school can help you stay motivated and give your studies a clear direction. Think about what you hope to accomplish in law school regarding academic achievement, skill development, and work experience. Write down specific goals and refer back to them over the next three years. The summer is also an ideal time to do some soul searching and think about what’s important to you in terms of your career. Do you ultimately want to go into public service? Do you want make a six figure salary? Do you hope to use your law degree in a non-traditional way? Clearly identify your priorities so that you can start working towards them in a deliberate way, rather than simply hoping things will turn out the way you want.
- Last but not least, have some fun! Law school will be a taxing, time consuming process. Use these summer months to enjoy yourself, relax, and do the things you may not have time to do in law school.
Law school will require you to learn new skills and difficult concepts, and will provide an academic challenge unlike what you’ve experienced in the past. Yes, law school will be challenging, but you were admitted to OCU Law because we believe that you are more than capable of rising to this challenge! The summer months are a great time to start taking steps to prepare you for your 1L year, but rest assured, OCU Law will be supporting you and encouraging you throughout your entire law school career!