The first month of law school was like jumping into a cold pool in the middle of winter, it's a shock to your system and you have to fight all urges to get out. I'm not saying that you'll want to drop out, but it will be tempting to slack on the reading. In all honesty, it can feel like there's no possible way to get everything done, but this proves to be untrue because you find a way to do everything.
The first two weeks were a lot easier for me. I even was thinking, "What's all this complaining about?"
The next two weeks I realized what all the complaining was about. The reading got harder AND longer, assignments were given in Legal Writing, and I was attending club meetings to try and get involved.
This past week and this week (the start of week 6) have been by far the hardest weeks thus far. I have a paper due on Friday that is 30% of my grade and a midterm for one of my core classes. I also have two essays due this week for another core class and a research assignment on top of the paper due in Legal Writing. It can feel overwhelming and if any of you are reading this in law school, just remember to breathe. You'll find that you can complete all the tasks so long as you just work hard...
That's the trick, you have to work hard. A lot of people have been complaining about the reading load from the start of the semester and some have been clearly unprepared for class when they're cold called. If you start to slack off in the beginning, everything you have to do will feel like an avalanche so it's important to just keep up with all the tasks. I personally will work 10 hour days so that I can take at least one day off during the weekend. On calmer weeks, I take both Saturday and Sunday off, but if the week is busy I try to use Sunday to get ahead in my reading for the week.
I've gone to two of the three "bar reviews," which is just where everyone in the program meets at a bar on a Friday. I highly suggest going to them because it's a great way to take a break and get to know your classmates in a nonacademic setting. Just remember these will be your future colleagues and possible connections so don't conduct yourself like it's a bachelorette party!
I also joined an intramural softball team, which plays other law students every Thursday. Our team is SO bad, I'm talking losing 1 to 25. But, playing is still a lot of fun and we always get together for a beer before the game. Doing things like this is just another good way to become friends with people in your year, but it's also a good way to meet 2Ls and 3Ls.
Everyone has been relatively nice in my section. It doesn't seem overly cutthroat, but we haven't had midterms yet. For Legal Writing, the professor said that the difference between students' grades are normally only a few points. So, in that class I think people are more likely to not help others or even talk about their assignment. For my core classes, people seem to genuinely be fine helping others...we'll see if that is still the trend after the midterm.
I'll let you all know how my midterm goes!