The style of writing is likely very different from what they did in undergrad, says Michael Garza, a rising second-year law student at Fordham University.
"In like literary review courses or my English courses in the past, I know it's been about using an expansive vocabulary," says Garza, who started law school immediately after graduating from Rice University. "In legal writing, it's a lot about being concise and to the point."
New students can get an understanding of what this kind of writing entails by contacting their law school adviser or their legal writing teacher to get an example of good legal writing by a student before classes begin, Garza suggests.
"In some ways you can improve your writing just by doing more of it," says Bell. New students can prepare for legal writing classes by practicing expository writing in their free time, as well as reading anything, not just legal work, by a good writer, he says.
Adjusting to the reading and writing required in law school was an especially jarring experience for Adi Kanlic, who earned a bachelor's in biomedical sciences from the University of Texas—El Paso.
"I didn't really have to write in college," says the rising 2L at the Chicago—Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Reading assignments were also a challenge for Kanlic, who says it wasn't uncommon to have to do 100 pages per week.
Successfully completing a grueling first year paid off. He is spending the summer interning at a personal injury law firm but has some advice for incoming first-year students.
"You're not really going to have a lot of time to reread things," he warns. "You kind of need to get it the first time and really kind of focus on what you're taking away from those cases."
Preparation can make any school year easier, but experts agree that students shouldn't feel pressured to prepare. Students may become unnecessarily stressed if they get too wound up about potential assignments, says Hall of the University of Mississippi. He encourages students not to get burned out before the semester even begins.
Above all else, he believes soon-to-be students should do one thing before school starts: "I think they should relax."
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