The semester is finally over! No more reading, no more case briefing, no more studying, and most importantly, no more exams for three whole weeks! Now that you have a (much deserved) break from law school, you may be wondering what to do with all your free time.
Well, first and foremost, get some rest! Sleep in, get caught up on your Netflix queue, and enjoy the holidays with your friends and family. You’ve worked hard this semester and you deserve a break. Giving yourself a chance to rest and recharge over the next few weeks will help you start the next semester with a renewed enthusiasm and interest. But, if you just can’t leave law school totally behind over winter break, here are three relatively low stress recommendations to help you prepare for the new term.
- Self-Evaluate and Set Goals. Once you’ve had a chance to decompress after final exams, take a couple of hours to honestly assess how your semester progressed. Although you won’t have your grades yet, you should still be able to make some reasoned judgments about what worked well and what didn’t. Did you consistently attend class and complete your reading assignments? Did you make your own outlines or rely exclusively on commercial resources? Did you procrastinate your LRW assignments until the last minute? Were you scrambling to get caught up during the reading week or did you have good study plan in place? Did you participate in class and generally understand the concepts? As you’re self-evaluating your academic performance, don’t forget to also consider how you managed the other aspects of your life. Were you sleeping and eating well? Did you make time to take breaks and enjoy your family? Once you’ve evaluated the positives and negatives of the fall semester, write down some goals that you want to achieve during the next semester. Keep your goals in a place where you’ll see them often so you can remind yourself what you’re working for.
- Do a Little Light Reading. Winter break is a great time to learn more about tried and true law school study skills. There are many great resources available on this topic. Below are a few books that we recommend. Remember, you’re supposed to be taking it easy over winter break, so just pick one!
Expert Learning for Law Students by Michael Hunter Schwartz
Succeeding in Law School by Herbert Ramy
Reading Like a Lawyer by Ruth Ann McKinney
Make it Stick by Peter C. Brown
How We Learn by Benedict Carey
- Update your Resume. Spring semester is generally the prime time for nailing down a summer internship. Make sure you’re ready for the job hunt by reviewing and updating your resume. This is also a great time to start thinking about your long term career goals and what steps you can take right now to set you on that path.
Most of all, remember to take a break and enjoy your time off!