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5 Key Things to Take to Law School

5 Key Things to Take to Law School

One thing I was never told when I embarked on my journey to law school in 2015 was what I really needed to have with me. Therefore, here’s a list of the five key things that have been crucial to my law school experience.


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1. Stationery

I have scarcely met a law student who doesn’t love stationery. Notebooks, pens, pencils, folders, binders, highlighters, coloured pens, post-its – the list goes on. But what you choose to buy is really up to you.

It is a given that at some point you will need paper – but whether you bring this in the form of loose leaf pages, lined pages, blank pages or notebooks is really up to personal preference. You need to be able to make notes that help you learn – so bring whatever you are most comfortable with.

This top piece of advice also lends itself to pen choice – do you prefer an inky pen? A biro? A coloured pen? Or even a pencil? It is all up to you.

My most important thing to bear in mind when it comes to choosing law school stationery is how much you will read during your law degree. Bring whatever stationery is going to get you through that 45-page chapter on contract law, whether that be different coloured highlighters denoting different aspects, post-it notes or coloured tabs.

If there is anything that can make reading the law easier for you, bring it with you!

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2. Technology

There are two aspects to the use of technology during your law degree. The first one and the most important is ensuring you have the required technology.

Most essays are required to be typed and either uploaded online or printed and handed in – handwritten essays, unless there are special circumstances, have become a thing of the past. Therefore, it is important you come with a way to do this.

For most people, that means having a personal laptop – in fact, I don’t know many people who don’t have one. BUT, if you don’t have one, don’t worry, your law career is not over. The alternative here is to make sure you have a memory pen/pen drive or hard drive that has lots of storage to keep your work safe. This will allow you to make full use of the computers provided for students in the university or city libraries – from here, you can work, print and research often for free.

The second aspect of technology is your personal preference of study; if you like to study using online resources or if you prefer taking lecture notes or class notes using your laptop as more and more students do, then a laptop is a must have in the lecture theatre.

However, it is important to stress that most lecturers are adamant that handwritten notes are more effective for learning and you can always use good old pen and paper for both the classroom and for personal study. Again, it is all up to you.

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3. A Rucksack or Bookbag

Just because you have left college or sixth form does not make you exempt from needing a school bag. Whilst other degrees may need less room in their bags, law school is renowned for requiring their students to read and therefore lug around textbooks – which, believe me, can get very heavy.

Not only that, but you will also want a good bag to keep your notes, your laptop and even your lunch safe, especially if you plan to spend long days or nights in the library.

My top tip? Opt for something sensible! The amount of people at university who begin the year with a stylish bag but end up switching to a sturdy backpack is incredible. Everyone is working hard, there is nothing uncool about common sense.

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4. A Diary or Planner

Even if you forget everything else, I urge you to bring something to aid your own time management. This could be a physical diary, a notebook dedicated to to-do lists or even your laptop or phone’s calendar.

Provided you use the resource regularly and properly, this will be your best friend and you will be so glad you used it.

Any university degree can have a variety of contact hours, compulsory seminars or workshops, as well as essay and exam deadlines, and additional reading tasks required for law. If you don’t keep on track of the work you need to complete, it’s simple: you won’t complete it in time.

There are lots of stressful aspects of higher education, but you can make the whole thing easier on yourself if you just keep track of what you need to do and when.

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5. Professional Attire

This is something you need to bring to law school that perhaps you won’t have thought about. Law students must begin to think about their future career almost from the word ‘go’, so looking professional is of the utmost importance if students are to carry out work experience or visit legal conventions during their time at university.

University law schools are very well placed to set up events, conventions and meet and greets with law firms and chambers. Not only this but if you want to partake in law school activities such as debating, client negotiating, client interviewing or mooting, then this type of dress will be a requirement.

Therefore, if you don’t have such attire at hand, you may find yourself unable to fit into the professional dress code required for such events and activities.

More on preparing for law school:

Author: Alicia Gibson

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