If you are reading this, you have been accepted into Monash Law; one of the most prestigious and well renowned law courses in the country! Welcome to the beginning of one of the most incredible, wild and exciting periods of your life. So now that you’re in, you’re probably staring down the barrel of a 5-6 year degree wondering what the hell you are doing? Well, the good news is you are not alone!
At some stage in our lives we have all been first years and although it is probably the most daunting year of your university life, it is unarguably the most exciting and rewarding. A lot of choices and decisions you make in first year can in fact shape your future years. So take our advice, the more you put in now, the more you will get out of your degree later down the track. It’s worth it!
In order to help you navigate yourself through your first few weeks at Monash Law, we have developed a dos and don’ts list that we would have liked to read during our first years. In saying this, it is not an exhaustive list, and of course, prioritise what lecturers and tutors say when it comes to work related points! At the end of the day, they are the ones with more experience.
- Go to your FOL lectures
- Make an effort – go to first year activities
- Try to form a study group early
- Engage in university life beyond law, find something you are passionate about i.e a sports team or orchestra
- Reach out if you are struggling with mental health – we have a section on this website devoted to ways you can do this
- Do your notes lecture by lecture – try and form a systematic way of collecting notes and saving them
- Law school is hard, accept this and be OK with the fact that your marks may not always be perfect
- Contact lecturers and tutors if you need help, although you might not know them like your high school teachers, they will always respond to your emails
- Get involved in all that Monash Law has to offer, why not try the moot, client interview, negotiations? First year dinner? hell yeah!
- Isolate yourself
- Sit by yourself in lectures- everyone else is new too
- Do all the readings 😉 – this is an important one. Some of us may be superman and manage to read and digest every single relevant case to a topic before the lecture, but most us are not! At best, revise some pages of the textbook to get a broad understanding of an issue or point of law. Otherwise, the lecturers will almost always summarise relevant cases for you in lectures
- Stress out if your not happy with your marks, first year is about finding what works for you and this may not always be successful
- Don’t think you’ll be super motivated and set all your classes at 8am… chances are you will probably end up ditching all of them
- Don’t cram… law is a subject that requires practise and thorough understanding
Speaking from experience, we all wish we could go back to our first year, not only to reset our GPA’s but so that we could relive the find and exciting times it provides. So our advice is not to take yourself too seriously and enjoy the journey.
Our Recommended Activities
First-year activities you should get involved in:
First Year Dinner – this is a night just for you! It’s a great way to get together with all of your Law buddies and make some new ones!
Peer Mentor Program – this is a great way to get free academic support whilst building up a social network (could even lead to the creation of a study group yay)
LSS events – the LSS (Law Student Society) organise a range of activities great for first-years. These activities range from free barbeques to running groups.
Law Ball – when the year is coming to an end Law Ball is a great opportunity to have fun with your friends. Get all dressed up and enjoy the night with friends and make new friends!