Orientation went a little something like this:
The first day was a welcome reception where we were able to bring friends and family to our school. Our mentors were there and we were able to mix and mingle, eat hors d’oeuvres, and meet faculty staff face to face. For me it was very little mix and mingling and more eating. I was able to connect with my mentor though and ask her a few questions as far as what to expect and get to know her and how her law school career was going. I only stayed for about an hour and half cause it was humid and hot in that building and I was ready to get back to my car where there was A/C.
This was my actual orientation day. For my school the part-time students had orientation on Saturday and then full-time students orientation was broken up into two groups on two different days (Tuesday and Wednesday).
We were asked to dress business professional since we would be taking our school picture. This is what I wore
Upon arrive we took our picture, got some swag (name tag and T-shirt) and ate pastries and drank coffee while we finished for everyone to get their picture taken. After, we were escorted to a room where we spent the majority of our day where there was a school branded messenger bag provided to us along with a legal pad to take notes and a folder with helpful resources.
The director of admissions, Interim dean and assistant dean welcomed us to the law school and made it a point to ensure that we were meant to be there. All of the ambassadors (mentors) came in to introduce themselves as well as the director of academic success and bar prep services which was beneficial because we learned we can have our bar application paid for by the school as long as we turned in our application by a certain date in January and got to know some 2L’s and 3L’s.
We were also introduced to the campuses mental health counselor who let us know the common stressors that come with being a law student, what she reports to the bar if they contact her regarding the mental health of a student, and emphasized that she does not diagnose.
We then had an impactful lesson on breaking down our bias and assumptions that we as humans make from the assistant dean who is also an adjunct professor. We were also gifted two books. One we probably all have read in high school, To Kill a Mocking Bird, and another by Bryan Stevenson called Just Mercy.
Lunch was provided and we sat at tables with ambassadors and members of faculty where we were able to get to know one another on a smaller scale. The Veggie Lasagna was A1 😉
We had a mock class (we had instruction prior to orientation to brief a case for this). This was just to give us an idea of how a class would go.
We were then introduced to the library resources and provided information on our required pro bono hours. Then, the student bar association came in to talk about what they do for us as a student body as well as how we can get involved if we wanted to in our first year.
At the end we broke into our smaller ambassador groups and went to individuals rooms with our mentors as well as another mentor group where we were able to ask any outstanding questions and exchange contact information.
There was an optional campus tour which I declined because by this time it was 5:30p and I had been there since 7:45a.
Financial Aid Session
This session was super helpful in getting disciplined on your needs and wants while attending law school and got us all thinking about ways to reduce the amount needing to be withdrawn as well as loan forgiveness plans. This session was instructed by a MAX AccessLex instructor who provided us with scholarship opportunities as well for attending the session.
Academic Success Session
This session was instructed by the academic success advisor and she taught us the important components of a case brief as well as provided us with tips and tricks on how to brief and outline. We also were shown examples of past 1L’s case briefs and outlines. I’m so glad that I attended this session because it really helped with my assignments that are due the first day of classes.
This session was alright. We just got Notecase Pro installed on our computer and configured the app to our liking. This application is a really good note taking system which far surpasses OneNote or any other way of taking notes. The application can easily be exported to PDF, Word, etc. Notes are also automatically backed up to our OneDrive so losing notes is near impossible.
Orientation to Technology Session
Okay so I definitely should have attended this session prior to attending the Technology session but no worries I got everything set up right. In this session we registered for Lexis and Westlaw. We also downloaded all Office 365 applications: Word, Outlook, OneNote, Excel, etc.We also set up our laptops to our printers.
1L Ambassador Social
I didn’t do but this was a gathering at a beach bar not to far from campus. There were drink specials and safe rides that took students from the school to the bar for the duration of the event which was 2 hours. All of the ambassadors were there as well. I decided not to go and to instead get a head start on my reading assignments for Monday’s classes.
All in all orientation week was really fun! I met tons of new people including students and staff and there was a wealth of useful information provided to us. Provided I have time I will check back in after week one and let you all know how it went.
Happy Orientation week my fellow 1L’s