Updated: Dec 15, 2021
There is more to being a law student than doing the excessive reading we were all warned about. Law is a complex course, studied by ambitious students. No one assumes it’s easy, but we are perhaps unprepared for the level of organisation and discipline required to lead a career in law. The aim of this blog is to bridge this gap.
Time management is a vital skill to incorporate into your daily routine and life. Knowing how to split your time effectively will not only have a positive and productive impact on your studies, but you will notice a significant, constructive shift in your mood. Ways to do this:
- Get a to do list and stick to it
I highly recommend writing on actual paper because this way it is harder to ignore - it's physically in front of you. I personally have a weekly schedule and a monthly planner pinned on my notice board (these were bought online at an affordable cost and they're also pink and cute which motivates me to use them).
- Set yourself realistic goals
Setting and achieving attainable goals leaves you feeling a sense of accomplishment. This is far more productive than setting unrealistic expectations and subsequently feeling disappointed with a lack of achievement.
Time management is important but not a stand alone, you also need to have strict discipline. Here is a quote from a penultimate year law student, Mia Parry- who also has a part time job urging us to “be strict with your time, don’t build bad habits”.
When asking Mia about her experience she emphasised the importance of staying on top of lectures and not continuously putting them off so they build up and become overwhelming. This is important because it builds your tolerance of heavy workloads (which is something that you will be faced with if you plan on working in a firm in the future).
Moreover, organisation is not just beneficial during your studies but also beyond this, in your future plans and careers. As a penultimate year law student, my peers and I are dedicating a lot of our time on actively applying to vacation schemes - this is to build our legal CV’s in order to secure a training contract after graduation. It’s so important to be involved in everything University of Leicester Law School offers, like taking on extracurriculars and engaging with projects and programs. Some examples:
- Pro Bono Society - I am writing as the Team Leader for Street Law project in the Pro Bono Society.
- Peer Mentor Scheme - I am also a peer mentor and this can be valuable volunteer experience on your CV.
- Joining the Law Society - here there are a lot of opportunities such as the commercial awareness program, gaining valuable experience and knowledge; also something employers look for.
- The open days offered to UoL students from various law firms - giving insight on law careers and how to stand out on applications.
- The unique opportunities given to us as Leicester law school students - such as the Morgan Stanley summer vacation scheme.
These extracurriculars are important in order to stand out in one of the most competitive sectors of employment. Here is another quote from a second year law student - Aaliyah Osman speaking on this point:
“Doing extracurriculars during your time at university is so important for securing a good career, so find things you enjoy, which will help you take out time for it! Also, law is a degree that can land you in a range of different careers, so in your second year onwards, schedule time to research careers, sectors, and jobs. It's amazing how many jobs are out there”.
To conclude, in order to successfully study law, you need to have some sort of organisation system that works for you. Notwithstanding, I have developed my organisational skills through experience, I wasn’t this structured in first year - in fact I was always stressed out and overwhelmed. It's normal to not be perfect at first. Now appreciating how much organisation has changed my university experience I want to make sure everyone has these same advantages.