You’re gearing up for law school orientation. First, let me congratulate you for getting here. You are a certified badass and all your hard work resulted in this freakout overwhelming feeling to prepare before classes begin. Don’t fret. You will be amazing. You’re probably trying to figure out what to wear, what to pack, and if you need to print anything or read something before Day 1 of Orientation.

Take a breath. Re-read the instructions sent to you by admissions, or the professors running orientation, and follow them to the letter. Add some snacks to your backpack, gum or mints, a notepad, and make sure to carry two pens, two highlighters, and your laptop + charger.

Wear something business casual. Landing somewhere in the middle of professional and casual is the best option. You won’t feel overdressed and won’t feel like a schlub. It may sounds silly, but dressing confidently goes quite a long way. Trust me on this.

Depending on your orientation schedule, you may have a quick few hours or a long week with your classmates. UNTDCOL (my alma mater) hosts a week-long orientation for students. There’s a long list of tasks to complete, including preparing your laptop, signing into research sites, and lessons on how to brief cases, as well as a prep class for torts or contracts. It’s our school’s take on gently introducing students to the law school experience.

These first few days of orientation can feel tense, mostly because the type-A group (which is pretty much everyone in your class) is trying to size each person up. I highly recommend being kind. The people in your class will become your family. You will spend an inordinate amount of time with your law school classmates. So, do yourself a favor and play nice.

Orientation will speed past you and the nerves you’re feeling now will likely ramp up before your first actual class. Take the time this week, if you haven’t already, to start your first week reading assignments. Don’t put this off. You need to brief your assignments and prepare for class. Don’t get ahead of the syllabus though. You aren’t even a baby lawyer yet. Getting too far ahead will cost you, dearly. Wait to get a foundation in each class before jumping too far forward in your reading. It seems odd, and goes against everything your overachieving self believes, but don’t do that!
You’ll thank me later.

Need advice on how to brief your cases for class? READ THIS.

Good luck and have fun!