January 29, 2018

Advice for first-year law students

As a first year student, being on your own at university can be very overwhelming.

No longer having parents to guard your every move might be a relief to the matriculates. However, that could not be the case if you are to study law for first time. We might have learned a thing or two out there about studying law at a university level, but not understanding what it really entails.

Although it has its difficulties, law is a great degree to study at university, I must say. Nevertheless, you can expect a lot of reading, and there is no other way to say how much of a reading law involves than just saying there are lot of law books. You need to learn law and obviously this will not be as quick as you may think it will be. What you need to do is just be ready for the unavoidable long nights going through a seemingly endless reading list. The best solution is to create a time table to get your reading and assignments done.

Some law subjects deal with different types of human actions and there might be similarities amongst them. Although universities organise the modules to accommodate the first year students, sometimes you may not fully understand the first module until you finish the next one. During these times, you may feel like you are in the dark a little bit, but this is a normal feeling, so no need to stress. For an example, the Law of Persons makes a good first year subject because it is easy to understand since as human beings, we relate to it.

Being involved in internships early on in your degree is advisable. Many law firms are offering job shadowing and internship opportunities to first year students, so it is best to get involved in deciding your career choice from the very first moment at university. If you are indeed thinking of becoming an attorney, it is worth sending applications to these law firms for internships and job shadowing, because this will make your curriculum vitae (CV) look good when you get to more serious applications. It is also advisable to send application letters to local law firms to go and job shadow, rather than applying to an organised scheme.

When you are studying law, you need to know the legislation and case law, because if you don’t know part of the case law in an area that may lead to you in not being able to apply the law to your facts. In simple terms, you need to remember lot of things.

Studying law at a university level has its positives and negatives. But, if you’ve got interest in law and you are able motivate yourself to study reasonable hours, then there are more positives and it is good to study law!


Koena Seanego
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