If your in the process of going to law school and need a little guidance on what you should be doing the summer before school starts, here are just a few things to get you started.
- Campus visit and a feel for the classroom – I completed this step during my application process and I strongly advise that’s when you do this step but attending school out of state could make that difficult. To schedule, call the admissions office of the law school your attending, let them know you’ve been accepted and would like a visit of the campus and to sit in on a 1L class. But keep in mind depending on when you ask i.e. summer, there probably won’t be any 1L classes you can sit in on. Your law school may have admitted students events, i.e. Dinner with the Dean.
- Secure your seat deposit – You should receive some sort of notification from the school requesting a seat deposit by a certain date. This of course lets the school know that your most likely going to attend their school.
- Submit your Dean’s Certification Form – This form is your consent to release information from your undergraduate school to your law school. If your undergraduate school is the same as your law school, you may not have to complete this form.
- Financial Planning – If your planning to borrow, make sure to complete the FAFSA ASAP so you can have a early view of your financial package and to ensure your money is being disbursed on time. Nobody has time to be worried about funds being on hold while your trying to get adjusted to the whole new world of law school.
Outside scholarships – Who can’t use the extra funds? Call your law schools financial aid planning office for resources on scholarships. Here are just a few online scholarship resources to utilize for your scholarship search:
Once you have figured out how much money you’ll have for school you will then need to create a 9 month or 12 month budget depending on if you will be taking summer classes or not.
5. Secure Housing – If your like me and going to school out of state then you’ll definitely need to secure housing. Some law schools have student housing not to far from campus or on campus itself. If you are going to opt for student housing provided through the school make sure to contact the student housing department as soon as possible to let them know and submit your housing request form. Some, if not all schools have a waiting list and it’s better to be one of the first ones on the list if it’s on a first come first serve basis.
During undergrad I had my own place off of campus and at this point in my life I can’t imagine having some stranger as a roommate. My own space brings me the most peace. If this is you, I highly recommend searching for apartments not too far from campus. Here are just a few apartment search engine options I’ve found helpful:
- Apartment List – In my personal opinion this is the best search engine I’ve come across. You input apartment options (ex. 1bd/1ba), price range, location, features (ex. Washer/Dryer in unit), pets, and where you will be commuting to and how long you would like your commute to be. Once your done choosing all your preferences they will give you a couple different lists. One of those lists will be best matches with all your preferences. While other lists may have apartments that are a longer commute but with all your apartment preferences or your rent may be a little more but within 5 minutes of campus. This search engine is most helpful because of all the options they give you plus once your done viewing an apartment they will keep a yes, no, and maybe lists complied for you. Also if you set up email alerts, you will get price drops alerts and new listing alerts.
- Apartment Guide
- For Rent
If you are living off of campus be sure to take care of all the logistics such as setting up cable/internet, setting up your electricity, forwarding mail, etc.
6. Health Insurance – This is something that may be offered through the law school that your attending. If so, that’s great. If your under the age of 26, definitely get in on your parents insurance. If neither of those are options for you, like me! The best place to start would be the healthcare.gov website. Here you can fill out a questionnaire and see what type of health plans you would qualify for.
7. New city Hot Spots – Even if you aren’t moving out of state for school, you may be moving to a new city. This is the perfect time to figure out new study spots, new foodie places, and coffee shops. Some search options may include:
- Google – Look for the city’s Visitor’s guide
- Instagram – Okay this is easily my search engine go to! Search for tags ex. tampaeats, tampacoffee, etc. Also look at the Instastory for the hashtag as well. You can also search for your city’s Instagram page to see what type of events happen in the city.
- Yelp – This is where you would need to go to get all the specifics on the place. Perfect for reviews and seeing a better layout of the place, price range, if they have Wi-Fi, if they have certain specials on certain days, etc.
8. Improve your reading – You will have very little time to read for leisure once law school starts. Since law school consists of so much reading, get ahead of the game by reading frequently to improve your reading speed. I’m currently reading A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. Recommended!
9. Book travel plans – If you are going to law school out of state, its best that you buy your tickets for the holidays if you plan to go back home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other special family/friend events that year.
In addition: Book a getaway! Once law school starts there will be very little time/money to take a vacation. I took a trip to Cabo at an all-inclusive. Click here to see how to book an affordable all-inclusive.
10. Shopping List – This is imperative. You need a list of everything you’ll need when you go off to school. Think study materials, toiletries, kitchen utensils, clothing, etc.
Hope you found this list helpful!
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