Gavri Schreiber Gavriel “Gavri” Schreiber is a current 3L at HLS. As a student who experienced a better-than-most virtual law school experience in the last months of the 2020 Spring semester, we asked him if he could provide some advice to 1Ls about how to make the most of a virtual experience.
The hardest part of my 1L year was the lack of feedback. With dense and unfamiliar material, no midterms or homework to track progress throughout the semester and a pedagogy premised on tripping up students with cold calls, 1L seems tailor-made to deny students a sense on how they are learning the material. Many of my 1L classmates looked elsewhere for feedback; they turned instead to casual conversations, professional networks and observation. However, those secondary metrics to evaluate 1L in real time will be more difficult to access during this remote semester. Below are seven lessons I learned during 1L that might be harder to learn over zoom but that you will learn nonetheless.
Lesson 1: Nobody knows how they are doing. Chatting over lunch with some of my most polished and articulate classmates, they would often confess being baffled by the day’s reading material. It reassured me to not be alone in my confusion. I can assure you that you will not be alone in yours.
Lesson 2: There are countless ways to stay on top of the material. Every class I could look down the row and see a half-dozen different note-taking strategies. I saw people excel using publicly available outlines, homemade case briefs, commercial study aides or highlighters and legal pads. There is no “silver bullet” or singular right answer to doing it right.
Lesson 3: Whatever got you here probably works, but it might need to be adapted. I have always worked best in the mornings. To stay on top of my 1L reading, I had to wake up earlier. When we went online, I found myself missing the fresh air and light exercise of my walk to campus, so I made sure to take a walk before and after every zoom class. […]