Friday, April 2, 2010

Ten Rules for Admitted Students Day

1. Do NOT bring your parents.
No matter how close you are to them, even if they'll be paying for school, or if they insist to attend with you... DON'T DO IT. You'll look like an asshole, I promise. The first impression you'll make on your future classmates is either (A) you're a baby who needs your parents to hold your hand through life, or (B) you're just an idiot.
2. Be friendly, but not too friendly.
DO make an effort to meet current and prospective students, professors, etc. DO NOT become a stage five clinger to any one person (or group of people). Also, fight the urge to tell people a summary of your personal statement/life story, personal details about your life, or friend request them of facebook the minute you get home.
3. Turn your cell phone off.
Obviously. You don't want to be the rude 0L that faculty hates before you even step foot on campus as a legit student. Manners, people.
4. Make a good impression.
Shower. Dress nicely. Smile. Be friendly. A first impression is hard to live down. And since you're going to be selling your soul to law school for the next three years of your life, you want to make a good one to the people you will be stuck in hell with.
5. Dress appropriately.
People need the most help with this one, I think. At my Admitted Students Day, the attire was all over the place. I wore a dark skirt suit and heels, but removed my jacket early on because it was pretty hot (and it didn't seem necessary to keep on). Most people wore a variation of business casual and looked really nice. However, there were a few people who literally showed up in t-shirts, shorts, and sandals! I remember thinking "WTF! I would never let that hobo be a lawyer!!". Don't be that guy/girl who shows up without shaving and looks like a bum... you'll always be thought of as a bum.
6. Observe your classmates.
This is fun. Do you like people watching? I do. Instead of being loud and obnoxious, I approached my Admitted Students Day quietly and stealthily observed all my soon-to-be frenemies. It's one of the few times people will have their guards down during law school, take advantage of it and figure them out.
7. Don't ask too many questions.
You don't want to reach gunner status after the very first day. If you have loads of questions, save them for a private one on one... otherwise you'll be the first name added to Asshole Bingo when school starts.
8. Introduce yourself to professors and faculty.
Why not? Now is your chance to talk to them before the fear of the Socratic Method sets in. Don't be scared, they were 1Ls once too.
9. Get a feel for the area.
While you're in town, drive around the campus' surrounding area. Are there good places to grab lunch nearby, or will you be better off bringing your lunch everyday? Do you like their library, or would you rather find a quiet park/bookstore nearby to hangout between classes? Figure everything you can out ahead of time. When August rolls around, you may not even have time to eat/shower.
10. Don't jump to any decisions.
Admitted Students Day should not make/break your descision to attend a particular school. Instead, take everyting into consideration (location, scholarships, area of law you want to practice) and make an educated decision based on everything together.