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Getting in Shape for Law School

  • by Alex Davis
  • Feb 25, 2011
  • Law School, Law School Advice

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Getting in Shape for Law School

If you were a good little applicant, you ate all your vegetables, did your dishes, made your bed and got your law school applications finished as early as possible. If you weren’t a good little applicant, you needn’t read any further. This post isn’t for you. Go slip on the cone of shame and stare at the corner while you wait to hear back from law schools.

To those of you remaining (i.e. those who are currently cone-less), August is but a twinkle in your unsuspecting eye. Sure, you’ve gotten an acceptance letter or two (or perhaps more), but you probably haven’t even decided which law school you’re going to attend yet. And that’s fine . . . for now. But be forewarned, if you combine a nasty case of “last semester ever” senioritis with a summer on the beach, a false sense of security will sneak up on you like Chris Hansen on a would-be predator. So don’t be lulled into complacency by sweet tea and cookies. Follow these steps to get yourself ready for law school:

1. Buy a Laptop (Seriously)

A lot of you probably already have laptops. If so, good for you. Pat yourself on the back, and then you and your smug sense of self-satisfaction can move on to Step 2. If you don’t have a laptop, you’ll be faced with the conundrum that has plagued law students the nation over since Apple started making functional products instead of pieces of crap: Mac or PC?

I won’t rehash that product debate here, because frankly I don’t want to, and there are better places on the internet to read about such matters. However, I will tell you something you may not already know. Almost all of your tests in law school will be taken on your computer. The program you will use is called ExamSoft. ExamSoft only recently developed a native program for Macs. So, if you already have a Mac and don’t feel like changing, check out the minimum system requirements here to make sure you’re in the clear. And rest assured that if you don’t already supplicate at the altar of Steve Jobs (and you will at some point, we all do), the Windows laptop you already have should work just fine.

2. Keep Reading

Did you ever do all the reading in your History classes? Yeah, me neither. Since your college graduation is imminent (or you’ve been out of college for a bit), your reading frequency has no doubt fallen off a cliff. You need to remedy that. Law school involves a lot of two things: reading and writing. Mostly reading. You don’t want to fall out of practice.

You may think that an extended mental break is a good thing. “Sure” you say to yourself, “I’ll let the mental wounds of the past 3 1/2 years heal up.” Well, you’re wrong. You’ve heard it before, your brain is like a muscle. You know what happens when you stop using a muscle? It atrophies. You know what happens when your stop using your brain? You get dumb. You don’t want to get dumb. Trust me. So read something. Anything. Every day. It doesn’t even need to be a book, but it does need to make you think (I highly recommend crossword puzzles too).

3. Do Deadlifts

Don’t know what a deadlift is? Read this. Aside from being made out of paper, law books and paperback novels have very little in common. Law books, especially those you’ll be lugging around during 1L year, are really f*&king heavy. Not only are they really heavy, but they’re also plentiful. You’ll be carrying at least three, heavy as rocks, thick as bricks textbooks to class every day.

In order to avoid injury, you’ll need a strong back. This is where deadlifts come in. There is no better exercise for ensuring the strength and stability of the muscles surrounding your spine. Do them early, do them often. And then you can thank me as you stroll down the halls in comfort whilst laughing at your lower-back-grabbing colleagues, moaning as they struggle against the weight of their backpacks.

To sum it up: Get a laptop. Keep (or begin) reading. And strengthen your back. That’s all for now!

Article by Blueprint LSAT Tutor and UCLA Law School graduate Alex Davis.

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