One-Third of a Lawyer: 1L Recap

By: Kasia Wiggins, 1L

Contributing Writer

As the end of the semester approaches, it begins to dawn on us 1L students that we have almost successfully completed our first year of law school. You wake up one day and it’s the first day of classes, and before you know it you are weeks away from your second round of law school exams. On August 22, 2016, the class of 2019 began our first law school classes, not knowing what to expect or what the year would hold. After talking with several students in the 1L class, there seemed to be a wide range of emotions, varying from anxious, to excited, to knowing we would be busy and ready to take on the load.  As the first semester progressed, with the help of our Kirgis Fellows, we quickly learned it would be no easy ride, but the work would be worth it.


Meme of baby

Only 2 more years and an entire professional career to go! | Source:

One of the highlights of the fall semester for 1Ls was LSFL. After reading, studying, outlining, and writing papers during the week, there was always LSFL on Fridays to look forward to. Whether you were on the sidelines or in the game, those games were guaranteed excitement and a little time away from the books. Two-point coercion was one of the all-1L teams who gave the 2L and 3L teams some stiff competition. The entire team played like pro NFL players showing no mercy. I think we can all agree it was great to see them representing well for the 1L class. Then there was 1L Of A Team and Benchslap, both all-1L teams who managed to be the two losing teams competing for the Toilet Bowl. 1L Of A Team redeemed themselves against the faculty during the Toilet Bowl and Benchslap was hands down the MOST spirited team the entire season.  Long story short, LSFL was one activity in the fall that a majority of the 1Ls enjoyed or participated in.
The end of the fall semester meant final exams were near. For 1L students, this signified going into your first law school final and transcribing all that you learned during the semester into a three- or four-hour exam. Some students found that the midterm exams given in Contracts and Torts helped with knowing what to expect on the final exam. Other students appreciated being able to bring in cheat sheets or utilizing notes and outlines during the final.
Following the end of the last exam, students were able to celebrate at the end of the semester/Christmas party at the Sheridan Inn. A few students considered this event the one in which they had the most fun. That might have something to do with the open bar, free food, and everyone’s ability to celebrate the successful completion of one semester, with grades being of no concern until the spring. Even though spring semester exams are looming around the corner, the air is definitely more optimistic with regard to knowing what to expect on the exams and how to tackle all of the issues within the specified time. The end of the spring semester means two things for most students: (1) we can swap our coffee with margaritas (beer, wine, or your choice of alcoholic beverage), and (2) more importantly, we swap our classes for hands-on experience during our summer internships.
Navigating through 1L year was not easy, but many students found OCS, Kirgis Fellows, and small section professors extremely helpful, providing guidance when needed. Talking with friends and fellow classmates also proved beneficial; what better way to ease your stress level than by talking to a fellow classmate just as stressed as you are? Contracts and torts were the front-runners for favorite 1L courses, although every course had a student or two who found it to be a favorite in one way or another. Property remains the runner-up course deemed a favorite by some 1Ls, following contracts and torts of course. While the classes are a big part of 1L year, the various events were also equally important to many students. The SCOTUS preview and the PAD Auction were the two events several students regarded as the ones they were most drawn to attend. However, there were many other events students were attracted to, including: Equal Justice Works, a movie night at Hull’s drive in hosted by SBA featuring Black Hawk Down, the Vagina Monologues, anything with free food, events by student organizations and many events that the professors and faculty were involved with, to name a few.
When asked to sum up the 1L year in just a few words, the most repeated word was “busy.” Other words used to sum up 1L year were “stress eating,” “so fast,” “crying after cold calls,” “a lot of reading,” “coffee is life,” “brief every case,” “frustrating but rewarding,” and “regardless, we’re all going to be lawyers.” Lastly, for the future 1Ls who will soon take our places while overusing the “1Lofa__” hashtag, a couple of students had some words of wisdom and advice for the incoming 1L class of 2020.
“It does have to be time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be hard,” said Jefferson Spears, 1L. Coming from someone who knows the answer to every question in every class, I would definitely take his advice.
“There are lots of people and a lot of socializing and social events, so be fine with saying no if you need more time for school,” said Joe DuChane, 1L. Also equally great advice and something most 1Ls may not realize is easier said than done.
As the semester comes to an end and we 1Ls head into our summer internships and our 2L year, it’s nice to take a moment to reflect on all we’ve accomplished and how far we’ve come during the year. Here’s to being 1/3 of a lawyer, to the next two years being just as prosperous, and a lifetime of success!

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