I’ve come up with the top 5 material things that I think have helped me survive 1L year (two weeks left!). So if you’re heading to law school sometime in the future or have a birthday coming up (like me!) then here are some ideas—
1. Noise Cancelling Headphones
Since I came straight through from undergrad, my savings prior to law school were—put simply—non-existent so I spent a good amount of this past summer going back and forth on whether I could justify investing in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones. Let me save anyone the trouble and tell you: it’s justified. I’ve probably used my headphones every single day this past year. You can study pretty much anywhere and being free from distractions is priceless as a law student.
2. Fold-N-Stow Book Holder
All right, so when I first got this, most of my friends made fun of me for it. BUT, after a few weeks many of them were asking me for the link of where to buy one. With the amount of time that you spend reading cases, it’s important to save your neck the strain of constantly looking down. Also, after being told by one of my professors when I was “on call” that I need to “read closely,” I found it much easier to find information in my casebook when I was being cold-called if it was eye-level.
I’m not kidding when I say that I got sets of tupperware for Christmas this past year. As a 1L, I would usually bring both my lunch and dinner to school everyday. Having a good set of Tupperware was great when I would meal-prep for the week each Sunday.
4. A Good Backpack
I asked a friend for anything they think should be included in this list and they said a “North Face Backpack.” I don’t think it necessarily has to be North Face but I would agree that you should invest in a sturdy, reliable backpack. As someone who has now gone through THREE backpacks this past year, I would definitely stand behind this suggestion. Carrying around casebooks is no joke (especially our abnormally heavy con-law casebook).
5. Keurig (Coffee)
There was a point during finals last semester when I was drinking an average of nine cups of coffee a day. I remember when my doctor told me I should be limiting it to two cups a day, I thought she was insane (isn’t perpetual caffeine intake also a thing in med-school?). Now, I know nine cups is a ridiculous amount and I’ve probably unnecessarily damaged my central nervous system this past year. However, it was finals so I did feel partially justified. Either way, coffee is a big part of many law students’ lives so being able to save money as well as save time by clicking that flashing button on your Keurig is a great feeling.