How to Prepare for Orientation


First off, congrats, you're going to be starting law school soon! I hope you're taking some time to relax before the fall semester kicks off--don't worry, this blog will still be waiting after you take some time for yourself. 

Now that you're back and well-rested, let's get down to business. This upcoming week will be my third time going through 1L orientation (once as a 1L and twice as an orientation leader), so I'd like to think I know a little bit about how to best prepare for the days ahead. 

To prepare for this blog, I reread my orientation blog that I wrote way back in 2019. It's been a wild two years since then, so it was great to refresh my memory about how I was feeling before I knew anything about law school. If you're feeling anxious as the first day of classes get closer, just know that it will all make sense eventually and you'll be wondering what you were so worried about in the first place. 

Related: Law School Orientation Overview 

As you're getting ready for orientation, here are a few things you should keep in mind: 

1. Check the schedule

Yes, this seems obvious. And yes, I shouldn't have to say this, but you never know. If your orientation is anything like mine, you'll have a little bit of homework to do beforehand for mock classes and academic lectures. You don't want to start off on the wrong foot before classes have even begun. 

Most likely, this homework won't be too much work--we have the same two cases every year that are only two pages or so each, so you won't need to cram the night before orientation. Do what you need to do to feel comfortable with the material and to put yourself in the best place for orientation. But, make sure you don't stress yourself out too much--after all, it's not a real class and orientation is meant to make you feel more comfortable. 

2. Pick out what to wear 

I'm a big believer in the homage that it's better to show up overdressed and not underdressed. However, even though you're making first impressions during orientation week, dress for comfort to the best of your ability. You're going to be spending most of your time sitting through lectures and walking around campus or the law building on tours. 

We have a dress code for each day of orientation, so it's a bit easier to figure out an outfit within those constraints. If you don't have a dress code, aim for something comfortable but nice--you don't have to go overboard. I think the best thing you can remember no matter what you plan on wearing is to make sure you have shoes you can wear all day. I wore heels on the first day of orientation and, trust me, I did not make that mistake again. 

3. Attend optional sessions before orientation week 

If your law school is like my law school, there is a student barbecue the Sunday before orientation week that isn't a required event. I went to it my 1L year, and it was definitely worth it to chat with the orientation leaders and meet other students from my section. 

On the more likely chance that your law school doesn't have any optional events before orientation begins, keep an eye out on your class Facebook page or section group chat (if you have one set up already). Those can be great ways to figure out how to get to know your classmates sooner rather than later. 

4. Practice self care

Like I mentioned above, you should make sure you're taking time for yourself before law school really kicks into full gear. I remember how much the first week of law school hit me like a truck--I couldn't wait to sit with my new friends at a rooftop patio on Friday evening and not think about reading a case for a few hours (even though all we talked about was law school). Law school has a steep learning curve, so make sure you take advantage of your free time while you still have it. 

Are you feeling prepared for orientation? Are you excited to start law school? 




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