On Tuesday, August 24, the John Marshall Bar Association (JMBA) hosted “1L Tips and Tricks” for current 1L students. “1L Tips and Tricks” is a panel featuring different perspectives on how to be successful during the first year of law school. The 2017 panel featured Paul Cuffe (JD 19), Carlos Fernandez (JD 18), Alisha Moriceau (JD 18), and Professor Jason Nance.
1L Gaetano D’Anna shared that the panel was very helpful and informative to him. “The speakers put my first week in perspective, providing both a high level road map advice and focused tricks that saved me time that very same evening. Playing to its strength in diversity, the JMBA speakers ranged in experience from a new 2L to a long time professor. This allowed for a range of that resonated on a variety of areas that I didn’t even think to consider,” he said.
At the beginning of the panel, students were informed that the ultimate “trick” to law school was that unfortunately there is no “cookie cutter” way to tackle law school. Rather, students should focus on what works for them individually. Individual Strategy should change from student to student and class to class. Importantly, students should focus on ways to do their readings, case briefs, and outlines that make them learn the material thoroughly and efficiently. While some students might choose to highlight their cases, others may choose to write a traditional case brief. Students should use a plan that works with their individual learning style. In addition, students should use their professors’ likes and expectations in developing an efficient study plan.
The panel advised students to use the outline of topics covered in a class syllabus as a starting template for their individual outline. Students were informed that some students may start outlining at the end of each topic covered in class, or others might wait until the end October to begin “outlining season.” Again, students were told that there is no right time to begin outlining. Students were advised to form small study groups and the importance of group collaboration in law school.
The panel related to networking as one of the most important activities, urging students to utilize the professors, faculty and alumni to coordinate their future career. Panelists shared stories of how alumni or professors helped secure them a summer job. Panelists shared that UF Law professors want to help students succeed in their careers.
Lastly, students must have fun during their first year of law school, while taking advantage of the social events and overall collegiate atmosphere. Panelists told students that law school is what you make it, and it can be one of the most fun and rewarding experiences of their life.
Panelist Alisha Moriceau (JD 18) said this about being on the panel: “I enjoy sharing my experiences with 1Ls, and I hope they’ll continue to take advantage of opportunities like this where they can hear critical advice from their peers. You’ll never know how valuable your peers are until they are all you have to reach out to because all the partners are “too busy”. So, take advantage of the moments you have now to get to know one another and learn from each other.”
1L Sammie Bennouna shared, “Not only was the 1L Tips and Tricks event hosted by JMBA helpful and informative but uplifting and reassuring. This was something all 1L’s needed to hear.”
Founded in 1909, the John Marshall Bar Association (JMBA) is the oldest organization on UF Law’s campus. Since then, JMBA has been committed to enhancing the student experience at UF Law through the areas of student service, community service, and social engagement. JMBA’s annual activities include Mocha Monday’s, Football Tailgates, The Canned Immunity Drive, The Halloween Party, Professionalism Week, Woodser, and Barristers Ball. JMBA membership insures free access to the monthly JMBA events, discounted prices to the marquee social events, and voting rights in JMBA elections. Membership is a one time fee of $90 for 1L’s, $60 for 2L’s, or $30 for 3L’s or LLM students. Any student can buy a JMBA membership at the JMBA table in the law school courtyard Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 4 pm. Please contact Connor Ellis if you have any questions about JMBA.