Amber Melvin (right) during her first semester in law school, fall 2010.

What I would do differently if I went back to law school

Published April 3, 2017

Hello from the other side… of law school. Since I attended law school in 2010-2013 and now work for admissions in the same law school, I have had plenty of time to think about my law school experience.

I have reflected on what I am most proud of as well as what I might have done differently. Hindsight is 20/20, right? It is literally my job to talk to prospective law students about my experience and share advice. Here are a few things I would have done differently if I were able to go back to law school today.

Treat law school like a job

The biggest mistake you can make is not taking law school seriously. Do not waste your time or money if you are not in law school to focus. Setting a specific schedule to study will help you prioritize your work and make time in the evenings and weekends to do things unrelated to law school. 

Step outside of your comfort zone

You will have many opportunities in law school to do things you have never done before. Get involved with activities like Moot Court, Law Review, or Trial Team. They may seem very scary at first, but the skills you gain by doing something new will not only help you as a lawyer, they will build your personal confidence. 

Utilize the Career Services Office

They are available to help. Job-hunting can be daunting. It is better not to go it alone, especially when you have a whole office devoted to helping support you. It is their job to get you a job. Need I say more?

Spend time with your law school classmates

It turns out, the same people in your law classes will be the same people your practice with once you graduate. Not only that, it is important to have a strong support system during law school and who better to support you than your own classmates. The connections and relationships you build in law school will help propel you into your career as well. 

Take advantage of experiential learning

Get experience outside the classroom as much as possible while you are a law student. There is no going back once you graduate. Make the mistakes and learn from practitioners while the stakes are still low (you are not responsible for anyone’s life, liberty, or property). 

My desk in my apartment 2L year.

Texts from friends and family during 2L finals.

Amber Melvin is the Marketing and Recrutiment Coordinator in the Office of Admissions at UB School of Law.

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