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Advice for Newly Admitted Students

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April 2, 2021

For many students, the years spent in law school are the most professionally meaningful and challenging. While advice on surviving law school is plentiful on the internet and in books, but, we think there is no better advice than some from our current students:

Admitted Students

“One hundred percent recommend jump start as a MUST. It really helped me transition into the first few weeks.” James Brien JD’23

"I was a student who took about five years off between undergraduate and law school. Returning to school made me feel anxious and stressed about the learning curve I faced and getting back into a student routine. The Academic Success Program at VLS is what truly made me feel confident in my abilities and gave me the initial support I needed. I know some students struggle with a perception that asking for help makes them weak, or that they must admit vulnerabilities. But after being accepted into competitive classes like Advanced Appellate Advocacy, I am grateful for seeking help and the instruction of others. I recommend coming up with a schedule that makes sense to you as a student. Law school is a demanding mistress, and she will take as much time as you give her. But there needs to be a proper balance between your personal life and your academic life. I tried to set up my school schedule to be four days of class, three days of the weekend. But I used five of those days to focus on assignments, notes, and outline building. I'd usually take an entire day to myself for guilt-free leisure - Saturday - and spend Sunday preparing for the week ahead. But, even throughout the week, I tried to give myself one or two hours to call family, paint, go for a walk, or just enjoy doing nothing. The important thing is finding a balance that works for you and getting into a routine." Michael J. Crouse JD'21

“My first piece of advice is to not be so hard on yourself. Law school is hard and you won’t be able to get an A+ on every assignment, but that does not discredit your intelligence or hard work that has gotten you to this point, just keep working hard! Also, while you want to work hard and dedicate an appropriate amount of time to your classes, taking time out is just as important. You will get burnt out if all you do is law school work all day every day. For me, I try to take at least a whole day off a week just to give my brain a break. One last thing is to be prepared for Vermont! I am from Florida, and I was heavily warned about Vermont winters. While my first winter was not bad at all, what threw me off was how dark it got so early. Just be prepared for it to mostly cold and dark for a couple of months, but also enjoy the winter as well!” Kristine O’Keefe JD’23

“There will be moments where you doubt yourself. At times, you may even feel incapable, but you belong here. You won’t know everything and that is okay. Don’t compare yourself to your classmates. This is your journey, do it at your own pace. The only person you need to compare yourself to is you.” Caresse Duru JD’22