Law School Orientation Overview

On this past Saturday morning, I called my mom for the billionth time that week to tell her how my last day of orientation went. I babbled on and on about how much this past week had really solidified my decision to move across the country for law school.

I feel incredibly lucky to be surrounded by so many like-minded people and at a law school that genuinely cares about its students. Orientation week was a long week, but it's made me even more pumped to be taking on this journey called law school.

Day 1

Shoes from Old Navy, top from Dry Goods, pants were thrifted

The first two days of my orientation week were the busiest, filled with tons of speeches and lectures about academic success, mental health, and more. After checking in and grabbing some coffee, my roommate and I took a seat to wait for the welcome address to begin. The dean of the law school, the chancellor of the University of Denver, and the president of the Student Bar Association spoke to us for about half an hour before we were introduced to the keynote speaker.

Justice Monica Marquez of the Colorado Supreme Court is easily one of the most inspirational people I've ever had the opportunity to hear speak. I honestly found myself close to tears a few times listening to her story and advice for us.

Following the welcome and keynote speeches, we were told to take our time getting to lunch and to explore the DU Law resource fair. I got a book of 1L outlines from Barbri, a book of tips for 1Ls from Westlaw, the obligatory red Lexis water bottle, and tons of highlighters and pens, among other things.

Lunch was wonderful. I made my way over to the school of hospitality with some other members of my orientation group, where I was greeted by the smell of chicken tacos--yum! We all found a table in the shade outside and spent our time incessantly asking questions of our orientation leaders about anything and everything that had to do with law school. I also found out that the room we were eating in is also where law prom is held, and, let me tell you, I absolutely CANNOT wait to have a photo shoot on the marble staircase there.

After lunch, it was time to sit through a few lectures to introduce us to the academic side of law school. There were plenty of sessions throughout the week, but the two lectures we had on Monday were about the legal system, sources of law, and legal reasoning.

Our debrief for the day was followed by several optional mini-receptions. I chose to attend the out-of-state reception, where I caught up with other students who aren't Colorado natives. While there, a bunch of us decided to grab a couple of drinks at a local sports bar, which I found out is basically the law student bar until all the undergraduate students come back to campus.

Day 2

Dress from Ann Taylor Factory, shoes and belt were thrifted, earrings from Target

The second day of orientation was probably the longest for me due to how much time we spent sitting in lectures, but it was all super important information. After the welcome speech, Professor Lexi Freeman was introduced as the keynote speaker. We watched several movie clips focusing on how to be inclusive in your practice and appreciate all the differences we have as people.

The theme of professionalism and inclusiveness continued throughout the rest of the morning with sessions focusing on how to be the best possible lawyer for your future clients and wellbeing for law students.

Lunch was provided for us again, and today we were served sandwiches. I decided on ham and swiss cheese with honey mustard on ciabatta, then followed the instructions on the back of my name tag to the classroom where my orientation group would be holding a discussion with an alum about inclusiveness and professionalism.

After lunch, we found ourselves in several more academic sessions, all about how to brief cases and take notes in class. There was also a Q-and-A session with the orientation leaders to clarify anything we were confused about (which was a lot).

The law school held an optional Colorado Legal Community Welcome Fair filled with tables upon tables of Denver lawyers, inns of court, legal professors, and bar associations for students to talk with.

My roommate and I also attended a yoga sculpt class at the campus fitness center after leaving the legal fair. This class kicked my butt! It was definitely more sculpt than yoga, and I was sore for a few days after. It was definitely a wake up call for me to get back on a workout schedule.

Day 3

Hurray for a day without business casual clothing! Wednesday was the day of service, where every law student signed up for a service project to take on during the morning. I decided to go to the Bluff Lake Nature Center to pick up trash along the trails.

We had lunch on our own time today, and I devoured a burrito bowl and tortilla chips at a restaurant called Illegal Pete's with a bunch of other incoming 1Ls and orientation leaders. I know I'll definitely be heading back there, especially with how close it is to campus!

Naturally, there were even more academic sessions. My Civil Procedure professor held a mock class where she taught us about the method she requires her students to use for case briefing--the "Marsh Method." She also spoke with us about how the Socratic method operates in a law school class. Then, there was another Q-and-A panel with the orientation leaders about anything and everything on our minds.

Day 4

Throughout orientation week, we focused on two specific cases during our academic sessions and the mock class. On Thursday morning, we took a 45-minute practice exam based on those cases. We then split off into our orientation groups to go over the exam and take notes on what we should have included in our essays.

Before lunch, we took a tour of several different departments within the law building: the registrar, the law library, the professional mentoring program, and the student affairs office. There were several other departments we toured, but those were seen after lunch.

Lunch was sandwiches again, but this time I got a turkey and swiss sandwich to enjoy during our faculty break-out lunch. My small orientation group was paired with our Civil Procedure professor, who told us plenty of stories about her time as one of two women in her graduating law school class and as a practicing trial attorney.

The second half of our departmental tours took us through the Career Development Office, the clinics office, the externships department, and the legal writing clinic and Academic Achievement Program.

Day 5

Friday's activities were optional, but I'm pretty sure everybody showed up. The law school bought everybody in the incoming class tickets to the Rockies game that evening. Beforehand, however, the school rented out part of the outdoor patio at a bar called the Viewhouse right outside of Coors Field, the Rockie's home stadium.

We were provided food, space to hang out and sit, and boards to play bags, and there was a bar specifically for us as well to buy drinks at our own expense. It was so much fun to sit around with everybody and enjoy each other's company celebrating the fact that we all get to start law school and change the world in the future.

Most people, myself included, hung out at the Viewhouse past the first pitch of the baseball game. My friends and I arrived at our seats at the bottom of the fourth inning and ended up leaving sometime during the sixth inning. We joined a bunch of our other classmates at another bar called Tavern, where we all danced the night away. Before we're all stuck studying our butts off for the rest of the semester, it was an amazing experience to get to know everybody as people and as friends.




  1. Happy does not cover how I felt after reading your blog. Love you to death and so proud of your decision to follow through on this dream. When you have a tough week reread this blog and fire up your spirit again.


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