Under Analysis: What you really need to get through law school

Lisa Henderson-Newlin, The Levison Group

I love summer. It's the only time of year I can get away with not wearing make-up because of the amazing excuse of "I sweated it off already." I definitely can't get away with that in the Midwest in winter so I take advantage of it in the summer months. However, as it draws to a close I get sad. It's like the end of the visit from my best friend who has to go back to her home - in Florida. But then I think of all those people out there getting ready to start their first year of law school and well, it makes me sad too.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I went to law school and am happy as an attorney. I just despised actually going to law school. A lot. So when it comes to the end of the summer I'm certainly not comforted by the thought of poor (literally) unsuspecting souls heading into three years of late nights and case law. However, in an effort to help them out, I've decided to give them some suggestions for what they really need to make it through law school. And no, the list does not include a No 2 pencil.

Dr. Pepper

This was a life saver for me. It kept me awake and tasted so good when it was accompanied by burritos at Taco Bell at 3 a.m. It's also responsible for me gaining 20 pounds; pounds that I still carry around with me today as a memento of my law school experience.

Post It Notes

Yes this is an easy recommendation but it's true. This way you can litter your house with them, writing down information about negligence and the Rule Against Perpetuities. You can master that Rule while brushing your teeth - and then teach it to me because I still don't understand the fertile octogenarian.

How to Tie A Tie

I can't tell you how many law students I've interviewed over the years who clearly didn't have a clue how to tie their ties. Might I suggest finding a YouTube video? And this isn't just for guys. This goes for girls, too. Everyone should know how to properly tie a tie. Either that, or just find a nice looking clip-on.

Have Instant Message On Your Computer

That way you can help your friend by sending him answers when he's called upon and doesn't know them. You can also use this to alert him about the hot girl in the front row whose underwear is showing.

Master The Phrase "I haven't gotten to that yet."

Once people know you're in law school they will ask you a million questions from landlord-tenant questions to whether they should take a breathalyzer if pulled over. It will be ridiculously annoying but this simple phrase should shut those questions down. The bad part is that this excuse does not work once you're a practicing attorney. Trust me.

A Place That Has Good Beer Specials

This is imperative because (1) you're living on borrowed money and need something cheap and (2) all that legal jargon will make your head spin. I used to go to a place with cheap beer and even cheaper shot specials. I was there so much that I befriended the bartender and I actually considered inviting him to my wedding.

A Good Chiropractor

Those books are heavy.

Good Walking Shoes

All the good parking is reserved for faculty and parking in their spot is not a successful way to get a good grade in torts. Trust me.

Master The Art of Sleeping While Looking Awake

It's the only way to get through Civil Procedure. It also comes in handy in later years when talking to your mother-in-law.

So there they are; my suggestions for what law students really need to be successful. I think it's pretty accurate and I wish I had known about some of these things when I went to school. I'm wishing good luck to all those new students and hoping to see them soon - in properly tied ties.

Under Analysis is a nationally syndicated column of The Levison Group. Lisa Henderson-Newlin is a shareholder of the law firm McAnany, Van Cleave, and Phillips. She's a contributing writer at NickMom.com and writes a humor website, LisaNewlin.com. Contact Lisa at lhenderson@mvplaw.com or contact Under Analysis by email at comments@levisongroup.com.

© 2015 Under Analysis L.L.C.

Published: Fri, Aug 14, 2015