Congratulations on making it through finals! <3 You earned yourself some much-needed time off. But before you can go traipsing off on worldly travels, you need to get a few things handled first:

  1. SAVE your DATA!
    • You worked so hard all year. Prepare for the worst! What if your computer crashes forever? Mine did right before midterms. Thankfully, I didn’t panic. I save everything important to dropbox and to the Sharepoint system for our campus.
    • If you haven’t done so already, BACK UP YOUR FILES! Those gorgeous law school outlines will be plenty helpful when studying for the bar. Do yourself this little favor and take the time to save your hard work. Create zip files and email yourself backups too! Trust me. Your future self appreciates you.
  2. Organize your DESK.
    • I know this sounds lame but, if your desk looks anything like the hellacious disaster mine does, you need to CLEAN it up! Seriously. Go full-on Monica Gellar. Re-organizing your study space will prepare you for a few things: summer classes, summer internships, and the peace that comes from ordered spaces. Get yourself a filing cabinet and organize all your 1L classes. Go through any paperwork you have and determine what’s needed and what’s superfluous. Again, this will make it easier to find your study materials in the future. The Bar exam is right around the corner and you’ll be happy to have retained your study aids and materials for future use.monica-shredder
  3. Return Your Textbook Rentals.
    • Forgetting to send them back, even for just a day, is a waste of money. Maybe you have those extra $$$ to spend, but I sure don’t. Send your books back on time and you won’t rack up late fees. Plus, you can cross one more task off your list. [I really love doing that]
    • If you bought all your textbooks, then you may want to hold onto them and sell them to the next class! You can ask professors if they’ll be using the same textbook, and offer to sell yours to incoming students for a cheaper rate than they’d have to pay at the bookstore or Amazon. It’s pretty much a win-win situation. You sell your books for a bit of cash and have moolah to buy your next semester’s books too.
  4. Plan Out Your Summer.
    • Just because classes are over doesn’t necessarily mean you have nothing to do. It does however mean that you need to be more lax with your time. You’ve been selfish (I really hope so) all year. This summer, make time for more friends and family events, or go try a few new restaurants. Some of you may be interning for judges, or working at law firms. [I am studying for the patent bar…yes – more studying.] Make time for more fun activities, which you can intersperse amongst work commitments and possible classes (if you’re taking summer courses).  Don’t lose track of your planner/calendar. Keep up with the good habit of knowing your schedule, otherwise it’s easy to fall out of sync and forget to keep yourself on track.

I sincerely hope you enjoy your summer. This part, right after finals…waiting for grades to post…it’s the most stressful time. If you’re worried – there’s nothing you can do about it now. Take a few steadying breaths and be thankful you’ve made it through your first year of law school. Congratulations!