Reading week arrives and the finish line is in sight! Take reading week to catch your breath and work on any assignments and CANs that you have been neglecting. Most importantly, take a couple days off and just relax. Many students use reading week as a chance to get out of Vancouver. Whether you are heading south to warmer weather or home to spend time with your family, try to get some R & R. February is also the month where you may start thinking more about your summer plans. Postings for summer jobs with UBC Law (like mine) and other law organizations will start to appear near the end of January and well into February and March. Be sure to keep your eyes open and start thinking early about how you want to spend those glorious 4 months off!
Just like last year, March is likely the month where all first years will have their very first mooting experience. Like many first years before you, you may be asking yourself, what the heck is a moot? Should I be concerned about this mysterious task? Will I actually be required to speak in front of my entire class? The answers of course are no! You should not be too concerned as the moot is graded on a pass/fail basis and students rarely fail. The moot will take place in a small classroom and the only individuals present will be your moot partner, another moot team (consisting of 2 of your classmates), and a panel of 3 judges (comprised of students, lawyers, professors, and judges). While you will be required to actually argue your side, by the time the moot rolls around you will have worked on your factum for hours and know your points like the back of your hand. The time will pass in a blur and before you know it, you will be back in your seat. It’s a bit of a nerve racking experience but students find it to be incredibly valuable and yes, even pretty fun.
For some of us, April will be one of the most hectic times we can recall. My advice: stay on top of your assignments, CANning, and studying + still take some “me” time to stay rejuvenated. Also, one of the most important things I discovered in my second semester of law school was my perfect place to study. If you can find that room, library, or coffee shop that lets you shut out the world and just stay focused then your life will be a whole lot easier! If you are the kind of person who can’t imagine staying home to study and not seeing your friends then find a study group. This is a great way to switch up your studying, get out for a while, and gain a better understanding of the materials. Some of my best studying by far was done with my friends (something I never would have dreamed of doing in undergrad!). Finally, be sure to surround yourself with supportive people. Half the battle of first year exams is a mental one. With the help of your classmates, friends, and family, if you can stay positive, focused, and truly believe that you have what it takes to be successful, then chances are you will.