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The Second Year of Law School: Smaller Books, Smaller Hernia Chance

What to Expect Your Second Year of Law School

If you’re a 1L right now, finals are probably about two months away. This means a couple things. Firstly, you’re probably lamenting the fact that you didn’t start outlining sooner. But who can blame you? We all know that no one starts outlining until after the finale of The Bachelor. Secondly, you’re no doubt wondering what you can expect when you return for your 2L year.

For one, your classes will be completely different. Gone will be the days of the school cramming a predetermined schedule down your unsuspecting throat. Believe it or not, you’ll actually get to take classes of your choosing. If you’re anything like me, those classes will not meet on Fridays and none will meet before noon. Lofty aspirations to be sure, but don’t feel bad if you’re unable to achieve such excellence. We can’t all be expert scheduling jockeys.

Not only do you get to take the classes of your choosing, but you won’t be running into any pesky 1Ls anymore (unless you make the mistake of continuing to attend Bar Review). In fact, you’ll be running into a lot more 3Ls. Seeing all those 3Ls line the aisles of your lecture halls ought to put a smile on your face. A lot of them will already know where they’ll be working after graduation. Some of them will be stricken with the law school equivalent of senioritis. This all redounds to your benefit.

As we know, most law school courses are graded on a forced curve. 2Ls, on average, care far more about doing well than 3Ls (at least anecdotally speaking). If you, Mr. or Ms. 2L, try harder than your 3L counterparts, chances are you’ll fall closer to the top end of the curve. The good news is, trying harder shouldn’t take all that much effort, because a lot of 3Ls won’t be putting in any. At all. There’s nothing quite like profiting from the laziness of others.

Last, and certainly not least, your books are about to get a helluva lot smaller. Remember that gargantuan tome you had to buy (and read about one quarter of) for ConLaw? No more! Divide that backbreaking pile of pages by three and you get (wait for it) a Business Associations textbook! That’s right, you may even be able to start using a backpack again. After all, roller bags, while effective for chiropractor avoidance, are just about the dorkiest thing you could possibly use to tote around your school supplies. No longer will you have to endure the stares and snickers of your classmates as you walk down the hall, accompanied by the whir of inline skate wheels. You may now strut confidently, for you, good sir or madam, will be a 2L. You may now pat yourself firmly on the back and go on about your day.

Post by UCLA Law School graduate and Blueprint LSAT Prep instructor Alex Davis.