The Differences Between 1L and 2L Year


Picture this: you've finally turned in your last final of 1L year and you have the whole summer ahead of you to get some experience and take a break from burying your head in casebooks. Fast forward to August, and you're suddenly getting ready for 2L. But, what's 2L all about? Of course, it'll be different from 1L, but how? There's too many questions and so little time to figure this all out before classes start, but that's where today's blog comes in. 

Obviously, there are differences between 1L and 2L. Even with a basic knowledge of how law schools operate, someone could figure that much out. But what should you be on the lookout for as you start 2L? As I'm going into my 3L year, here are some of the biggest differences that I noticed. 

You're More Confident

Law school isn't going to necessarily get easier. I know, that's not the most uplifting thing to hear. But, sometimes law school may feel easier just because you're more confident in your abilities and know more about how law school works. You know how to handle a cold call, you know what to look for while reading, and you know how to study for finals. You're so much more comfortable with the concept of law school, and it definitely shows in how you approach law school. 

There Are More Experiential Opportunities

A lot of things in law school aren't open to 1Ls. You have to have the basis that 1L lays in order to have access to those opportunities, so 2L is a great time to take the plunge into those activities. Things like clinics, externships, semesters in practice, and more have a credit hour requirement that can only be met by passing 1L. So, make sure to take advantage of throwing yourself head first into what it means to actually be a lawyer and to step up your skills at a fast pace. 

Access to a Wider Range of Classes

Of course, all classes during 1L follow a strict schedule. You quickly push your way through Property, Torts, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Contracts, and legal writing and research without any choice in what you're studying. 2L is where you finally get a choice in what you're studying. I think one of the best parts of classes during 2L was the opportunity to vary classes between bar prep, practical, and classes I was genuinely interested in. 

You Have to Start Thinking Past Law School

Obviously, you go to law school because you want to be a lawyer. But during 1L, that may seem pretty far away, and you don't really have time to worry about it because you're swamped with classes and readings. As a 2L, however, you suddenly realize how fast law school is flying by and that you really have to start thinking about bar prep, the MPRE, and finding a job way sooner than you think you do. Or maybe that's just me. 




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