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First Year of Law School

Overview of sources and strategies for success in law school

Legal Careers

Curious about choosing classes for 2L and 3L year? Having trouble seeing how your first year classes fit into the larger scheme of legal education? You can look over past syllabi from professors' upper level classes to see the kinds of topics you will be able to choose from as you move beyond the first year.

Non-traditional students and non-traditional careers

You'll hear the word non-traditional used in two main contexts in law school:

  • Non-traditional students come from backgrounds that are uncommon (or rather used to be uncommon) in law school. Given the changing nature of legal education in the past few decades, it is no longer unusual to attend law school after a career change, time in the military, time spent as a caregiver, or coming from a "non-traditional" undergraduate track.
  • Non-traditional careers are fields that J.D. students go into that may not be as closely related to the practice of law as work in firms or don't necessarily require a J.D., but still benefit from the education and training you received in law school. 

Looking for Work, Library Style

The library has a great collection of books to help you make wise decisions about your future employment. This is just a quick preview of what we have available, be sure to check with the Career Development Office for recommendations and search our catalog if you are looking for something specific.


If you find yourself falling in love with an area of law, don't be afraid to pick up a book that gives some practical advice on the kinds of jobs available to you. The first year is a time to explore your options; don't discount anything yet, but take the time to learn the lay of the land.