I know that law school starts for some schools tomorrow, and for others on next Monday. The first day of any semester is always the most important because it determines who you’ll end up sitting next to.
I know you’re probably over-eager to be a superstar, but take my advice: Find a seat near the back of the class. We all have off days, and on those days, it’s nice not to be four feet away from the professor. He or she can easily tell if you’re goofing off or just out of it, and will therefore call on you.
It’s also nice to sit near the back so you can see what other people are doing on their laptops. One girl I had in several classes did nothing except for surf TMZ and Perez Hilton. Another person spent a lot of time perusing Match.com. And half of the class spent at least part of the time using Facebook. Being in the back means that (a) you can see them goof off, and (b) they can’t see you do it.
You’ll also want to try to find a seat somewhat near the aisle. Some people take an inordinately long amount of time to pack up and get out of class, and you don’t want to be stuck waiting for them. If you’re one of those people, don’t sit near the aisle and hold everyone up.
Try not to sit next to anyone you find yourself attracted to. You don’t need that kind of distraction. And while you’re at it, make yourself this promise right now: “I don’t care how hot or rich my fellow law students are, I will not date them or sleep with them.” It will save you and everyone else a lot of drama and hassle. Think of how uncomfortable it will be if you nail the person you’re sitting next to, break up, and then have to sit next to them for the rest of the semester.
You know what I wore on my first day of class? Jeans and a t-shirt along with a pair of nice shoes. Don’t over think your first day wardrobe. It’s law school, not a fashion show. If you’re a guy and you show up in a suit, everyone will think you’re a d-bag. If you’re a girl and you show up in a short skirt and/or a tight blouse, everyone will think you’re a slut. Yes, it matters (to some extent) what your classmates think of you. But it matters more what they think of your legal ability than your fashion sense. And for God’s sake, don’t worry about impressing the prof. You’re paying hundreds of dollars for every hour you’re in class – he or she should therefore worry about impressing you.
As for trying to impress everyone with your class prep? Don’t bother. Here’s how it works: If you see someone who obviously spent less time than you preparing for class, that person is an idiot for not taking law school seriously. If you see someone who obviously spent more time than you preparing for class, then that person is an idiot for taking so long to “get it.” Don’t worry about impressing anyone. Especially since everyone is going to either (a) lie to you or (b) refuse to tell you about how they did on the final exam anyway.
My last and most important tips are these: Don’t show up late on the first day, and make sure your cell phone is off or on silent. You really don’t want to show up late or have your cell phone go off in class. If you do both on the first day, you may as well drop out.